Five Individuals Enter Not Guilty Pleas in Case of Alabama Riverfront Altercation

by Joshua Brown
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Five individuals implicated in a violent incident along an Alabama riverfront— an event that attracted nationwide scrutiny involving a conflict between white boaters and Black riverboat crew members—have entered not guilty pleas to charges of assault and disorderly conduct.

Four white boaters, who were reportedly captured on video physically assaulting or pushing a Black riverboat captain in Montgomery, have pleaded not guilty to charges of misdemeanor assault. Concurrently, a Black man, allegedly filmed utilizing a folding chair as a weapon in the ensuing chaos, has entered a not guilty plea to misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct.

Official records from Montgomery Municipal Court indicate that these not guilty pleas were formally submitted last week.

The altercation was brought to widespread public attention through social media, where videos of the event circulated extensively. The incident has subsequently been the subject of memes, jokes, parodies, recreations, and even commercial merchandise like T-shirts.

Richard White, an attorney representing one of the white boaters involved, spoke to WSFA, stating his intention to ensure that his client is granted fair treatment, especially in light of the extensive national coverage.

Montgomery Police Chief Darryl Albert informed the press last month that the origin of the brawl was a refusal by the owner of a pontoon boat to vacate a docking area reserved for the municipal-owned Harriott II riverboat. The riverboat’s co-captain navigated a smaller vessel to the shore with the intent of relocating the pontoon boat, so that the Harriott II could properly dock and allow approximately 200 passengers to disembark.

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