No arrests related to Riverfront melee – News conference scheduled Tuesday

Published 8:35 pm Monday, August 7, 2023

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The Montgomery Police Department has yet to make arrests on the four active warrants issue after Saturday’s riverfront melee.

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed held a press conference Monday to discuss campaign plans for his re-election and said Montgomery Police Chief Darryl Albert would provide more information related to the warrants at a Tuesday news conference scheduled for 1 p.m.

“We will be able to share certainly more details at this time,” Reed told members of the press. “But as it regards to public safety here in the city of Montgomery, it’s always at the forefront of our mind.”

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Reed expressed his appreciation for the community’s help in dealing with the incident.

“That is why we continue to work with so many faith leaders and community leaders across our city to make sure that we have a great and safe city,” Reed said. “While there is a lot of activity and interest in this, we know that we’ll come through this as a community, collectively as we have other situations.

The mayor said he could neither confirm nor deny whether the incident was racially motivated but did confirm law enforcement was investigating all angles and talking with witnesses. Other concerns, he added, will be addressed at Tuesday’s press conference.

Reed’s comments come on the heels of much public scrutiny into the Saturday evening Riverfront Park brawl that resulted after a dock worker confront boat owners witnesses say left their vessel unattended at the dock, blocking Harriet II from disembarking its passengers.

Viral videos circulating across social media platforms have gained the attention of viewers in Montgomery and Dallas Counties, where several of the alleged instigators live and one, Chase Shipman, is the owner of Vasser’s Mini Mart in Selma.

Vasser’s remained closed Monday morning after social media posts called for boycotting the business and forcing its closure. Social media commentors have argued the issue since Saturday – some calling white boat owners racist and others finding fault with the Black dock worker.

Several social media commenters sought to implicate other Selma natives, identifying one woman as Leigh Chappell, a teacher at Sophia P. Kingston Elementary School.

Superintendent Zickeyous Byrd issued a release Sunday on social media, denying the involvement of any school system employees. “The Selma City School District is aware of the unfortunate incident that took place yesterday evening on The Harriet II Riverboat dock in Montgomery,” Byrd wrote. “We have fully investigated allegations that one of our employees may have been involved. Based on our findings, there is no evidence to support that a Selma City Schools employee was involved int he incident.”

Officials have not released any information regarding the identities of the persons involved and are asking witnesses to submit any available video footage for their review. Video can be submitted to the Montgomery Police Department at