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Mayor: Riverfront rumble ‘not indicative’ of Montgomery

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed believes the brawl at the Montgomery Riverwalk was an “isolated incident” that shouldn’t define the capital city.

Videos of the incident received worldwide attention after going viral on social media.

“I don’t think you judge any community by any one incident,” Reed said. “As the chief said before, this is not indicative of who we are. As a matter of fact, the people on the pontoon boat are not residents of Montgomery.”

The mayor said those who started the fight made bad decisions from the start.

“So I think it’s important for us to address this as an isolated incident,” he said. “One that was avoidable and one that was brought on by individuals who chose the wrong path of action from the time they were notified that they were in vicinity of where the Harriet parks to how they responded to when they were given a second notice of that.

“So this is not indicative of our community at all and I think people will view this as the actions of individuals and not characterize the entire community.”

Reed also released a statement addressing if anyone involved should be charged with a hate crime.

“This is a fluid investigation,” he said. “At this point, the FBI has not classified these attacks as a hate crime, but the investigation is ongoing. As a former judge and as an elected official, I will trust this process and the integrity of our justice system. However, my perspective as a Black man in Montgomery differs from my perspective as mayor. From what we’ve seen from the history of our city, a place tied to both the pain and the progress of this nation, it seems to meet the moral definition of a crime fueled by hate, and this kind of violence cannot go unchecked.

“It is a threat to the durability of our democracy, and we are grateful to our law enforcement professionals, partner organizations and the greater community for helping us ensure justice will prevail.”

So far, five people involved in the brawl have been arrested.

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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