Nov 2, 2023
Riverboat Brawl Suspect Sentenced To Anger Management
- 8 minutes
The riverboat brawl that happened back in Alabama, Montgomery, Alabama. So we've moved it to the point where now people are being charged and arrested. Two of the five defendants arrested in connection with the riverboat brawl in Montgomery, Alabama in August have pled guilty in court on October the 27th. [00:00:17] 48 year old, Richard Roberts pled guilty to two misdemeanor assault charges and will serve 32 days of a four month suspended sentence. He will serve time on the weekend at a Perry County facility and perform 100 hours of community survey for assaulting 16-year-old [00:00:33] deckhand Daniel Warren and Harriet II riverboat co-captain Damien Pickett. Roberts will have to serve his full sentence if he violates the terms of his plea, which he begins serving on November the 4th. Listen, before we carry on, we should acknowledge that this person [00:00:52] assaulted a minor, and his sentence was only four months suspended. He'll do 32 days, and he'll have the luxury of doing them on the weekend, basically saying, we're not gonna interrupt your income. We're gonna allow you to live the same life, that you're gonna have the same luxuries that you've always had beyond this happen. [00:01:09] And then the racist people that you hang out with will celebrate you for being a hero, a local hero, for hitting or standing up to Black people who are defending another Black person. This is tragic because we know so many people in that very state. Montgomery is less than 2 hours away from Selma, and [00:01:26] when I was doing organizing work in Selma, Alabama, there were young men, 17-year-old young men who had been locked up without bail. And when I say out without bail, it's not really without bail, they don't have the funds to make $100 bail. So they've spent two years in jail waiting on trial for [00:01:44] a crime that probably wouldn't have got them two years anyway. So this is disgusting that he gets the luxury of going home after touching a minor in this manner. I'm frustrated beyond belief about this, and that sentence is so light, Yasmin? [00:02:02] >> Speaker 2: Yeah, that riverboat brawl, we all remember that one. So, we love to see justice happen when it happens, but as you pointed out, I don't know if this is enough. And enough would be defined as a punishment that actually would deter future crimes like this one from taking place. It would deter this man from committing an act like he did in the future, and [00:02:21] it would deter others like him from also committing a similar act. And whenever we see these people get off so easily, it really doesn't do that. And as you pointed out, sometimes it has the opposite effect, sometimes people say, look, I can do these things and get away with it. I might have to pay a small fine, I might have a little bit of inconvenience in my [00:02:40] life as a result, but it'll be worth it. And not only that, but this guy went viral, we all know his name, we're talking about him on shows like this right now. Sometimes when these incidents go viral, it does help in that sometimes the county or the state, whoever will say, you know what, just book them with something to [00:02:58] know all of America off of our backs just to show that we did something. But who's to say, if this hadn't gone viral, if this wasn't recorded the way it was, who's to say that he would have gotten this much of a punishment in the first place? We don't know, and we can't really speculate about that. But it is interesting to see how easily people get off with things, [00:03:16] even though, as you pointed out, this is a minor, this is a crime in most places and would be regardless of race. Even just that in and of itself should have been punished more severely than what we're seeing here. >> Speaker 1: Yeah, we know that doing harm to Black minors does not carry [00:03:32] the same weight. A cop killed Tamir Rice, 12-year-old playing in the park with a toy, and then a few years later got another job as a police officer in another state. >> Speaker 2: And that's the precedent that's set, yeah. >> It is, you're absolutely right. Let's talk about the second sentence. A judge also sentenced 21-year-old, Mary Todd to complete anger [00:03:51] management classes after she pled guilty to harassment. According to WSA News, Todd was the first to enter a guilty plea. The third defendant that's been sentenced, 42-year-old Reggie Ray, inspired an array of memes and social media [00:04:07] commentary after he grabbed a folding chair to defend himself against the mob. Here are some of those memes. [MUSIC] [00:05:08] >> Speaker 1: For those of you all that don't know that these songs are remade in the harmony and the melody and the rhythm of the national Negro anthem. Lift every voice and sing and people that don't know about that song, that song was not originally written as the National Negro Anthem. [00:05:24] Johnson wrote that song in response to what were the top songs in America at that time. Some of those songs were The N Word, Don't Have a Flag, and some other songs that were bashing Black people for not having a nation to call their own. This is when that song was written, that was the turn of the 20th century, [00:05:43] right after slavery ended and the Civil War was over. We saw a lot of songs being popular in American culture that were anti-Black, and the song was written to counter that. Now it's being used to say fight back. In a rare change for GoFundMe, we see that Ray, [00:06:00] who was charged with the chair disorderly conduct, and his arrest prompted a GoFundMe that has raised $296,675 to cover his court costs. His case was also continued until November. Usually the GoFundMe case, GoFundMe are for people like Carl Rittenhouse, [00:06:18] who raised an ungodly amount of money after he murdered two people. Like I said, the case of Alan Tod, 24-year-old and 26-year-old Zacharyman Shipman, who were charged with third degree assault, were also continued to November the 16th. [00:06:34] So that's just around a week from now or a couple of weeks from now. And I'm willing to bet they too will be doing nothing, maybe parole, maybe community service, they will not spend significant time in this case. When we saw, first of all, it wasn't just if the charges was against Black people, [00:06:51] they wouldn't have just been charged for the attack on the white person. Like these people, when they attacked him, they sat there for a long time blocking a city riverboat from being able to park. That would have been a part of the crime that Black people would have been tacked on too. We don't see this, and I keep talking about Black people because it's important [00:07:09] that we remember what happened here. And how the legacy of these spaces, Mississippi and now Alabama are still playing out and it's not too far or white supremacy is still souped as you're in these spaces, Jasmine? >> Yeah, and I think the reason, why this all went so [00:07:27] viral is obviously it was very meme worthy and that was really a lot of fun. But it's also an instance of Black people fighting back, right? And I think in this country, Black people, minorities, but specifically Black people, especially Black people, have been so repressed by the government and [00:07:45] by the cops and police forces and things like that, that over time they just stop fighting back as much, right? If the cops are there in your face, you're told to just comply, just cooperate, be cooperative. And sometimes even that doesn't go in your favor, sometimes even that goes very wrong. [00:08:01] And at some point, people are gonna be tired of just trying to be placated and trying to comply and trying to be cooperative, because if you hold a man down long enough, he's going to fight back. And so I think that this whole moment was so indicative of that, it was a celebration of that moment. [00:08:17] And I'm not a part of the Black community, so though I can't really speak from that perspective, but I can say from an outsider's perspective, it was good to see. >> I'm on the inside of that community, and you're damn right it was good to see.
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