MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Five people charged in an Alabama riverfront brawl that drew national attention as white boaters fought with Black riverboat crew members have pleaded not guilty to assault and disorderly conduct charges.
Four white boaters, who police said were filmed hitting or shoving a Black riverboat captain in Montgomery, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault charges. A Black man, who police said was filmed swinging a folding chair and hitting people in the subsequent melee, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges.
Montgomery Municipal Court records show the not guilty pleas were entered last week.
Videos of the brawl were widely shared on social media and spawned a multitude of memes, jokes, parodies, reenactments and even T-shirts.
Richard White, a lawyer representing one of the white boaters, told WSFA that he wants to make sure his client is treated fairly given the national attention.
Montgomery Police Chief Darryl Albert told reporters last month that the brawl began when the owner of a pontoon boat refused to move from a docking spot designated for the city-owned Harriott II riverboat. The riverboat co-captain took a smaller vessel to shore to move the pontoon boat so the Harriott II could dock and let its 200 or so passengers disembark.