Black X, formerly known as Twitter, was set ablaze a few weeks ago after footage of an altercation between white and Black folks on a Montgomery riverfront went viral. Law enforcement had their eyes on one brawler in particular, who picked up a chair and started hitting a white participant with it. On Friday, 42-year-old Reggie Ray turned himself him as the chair swinger.
According to Essence, Montgomery Chief of Police Darryl J. Albert confirmed Ray’s confession and explained authorities “were looking to speak with him after video footage showed him ‘wielding that folding chair.'”
Ray’s alleged chair swinging became a pop culture phenomenon, inspiring many memes, GIFs, and even a special rendition of the Black national anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” becoming “Lift Every Chair and Swing.”
WSFA reported Ray was released from custody after his misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.
According to the GoFundMe page, “Funds raised here will be used to offset the cost of certain damages incurred by my clients and others involved in responding to the chaos at the riverfront. These damages include but are not limited to medical bills, lost wages/earnings, professional services, travel, lodging and expenses.”
Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed confirmed the brawl does not meet the criteria for those involved to be charged with hate crimes, according to WSFA.
“At this point, the FBI has not classified these attacks as a hate crime, but the investigation is ongoing,” he said on Thursday.
Reed also clarified his thoughts on the incident as mayor and as a Black man aren’t synonymous.
“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, and this kind of violence cannot go unchecked.”
The incident remains under investigation, and WSFA reported authorities asked anyone with additional footage to send it to email@example.com.