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No Hate Crime Charges for White Men Who Attacked Black Riverboat Co-Captain During Brawl in Alabama


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Prosecutors in Montgomery, Alabama dropped charges against three white men who attacked a Black riverboat co-captain in Alabama.

The three men were arrested after they attacked a riverboat employee at a Riverfront Park boardwalk on Saturday, Aug. 5.

Officials say the attackers won’t be charged because the incident didn’t rise to the level of a hate crime.

After reviewing video footage of the brawl, the Montgomery Police Department and the FBI said there is not enough evidence to support hate crime charges.

Police Chief Darryl J. Albert announced he has issued arrest warrants for Richard Roberts, 48; Allen Todd, 23; and Zachery Shipman, 25, who were involved in the melee. Each man will be charged with assault when they are taken into custody.

CBS News reports police officers are asking the public to help identify a man who was seen on video hitting people with a folding chair.

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The brawl started when a pontoon boat was blocking the dock where a riverboat was trying to park, according to reports.

Damien Pickett, co-captain of the Harriott II Riverboat, said the pontoon was parked in his riverboat’s designated space.

“The co-captain, as he approached the dock and attempted to peacefully move the boat over, the owners of the boat confronted him in a hostile way,” Chief Albert said on Aug. 8, according to the Washington Post.

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The boat owner allegedly “responded with rude gestures, bad words, and teasing,” according to Chief Albert.

Some of the 227 passengers on the riverboat recorded the wild scene that followed as the pontoon boat owner punched the riverboat co-captain in the face.

After the riverboat docked, two shirtless men got off and began punching the pontoon boat owner. Other passengers got off the riverboat and joined the brawl.

An announcer onboard the riverboat said: “Please check the guys in the water. Two guys are in the water behind the dock. Make sure nobody drowns.”

He then added: “FYI, in the future don’t f–k with the riverboat crew.”

13 people were arrested following the brawl on Saturday, but they were all released without charges.

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