The owner of a mini-mart in Selma, Alabama is under fire after he posted a video showing a chaotic brawl that broke out on the waterfront in Montgomery on Saturday, claiming that while he was there, he was not involved in violence.
The name of the owner has been floating around social media as internet sleuths have attempted to find out who was behind the violence.
According to the Selma Times Journal, the owner of Vasser’s Mini Mart posted a video of the incident on social media. The business’ Facebook page has since been taken down amid backlash from commenters who alleged the owner was not just a witness, but a participant.
“If Vasser’s Mini Mart is not OUT OF BUSINESS by Labor Day, I’ll be disappointed in Selma,” tweeted one user.
“The Vasser’s Mini Mart owners tried it in a small town and that did NOT work!” wrote another social media user, a reference to Jason Aldean‘s controversial new song “Try That In A Small Town.”
Alleged screenshots of posts from Vasser’s Mini Mart before the page was deleted show the owner denying any involvement in the brawl.
“Yes, I was there but I was the first to try to get away,” the owner wrote. “You can see in the video I attached, and I do not condone what happened. I tried to stop it and realized I could not, so I tried to get away. There is a video of me being the first to run away because what was happening was wrong and I did not want to be a part of it.”
He added that no charges were brought against him.
But social media users weren’t taking his post at face value and many have claimed he was involved.
One commenter wrote “don’t post a picture and try to say your eyes didn’t see what happened on video,” according to the Times Journal. Police have said more charges could be forthcoming.
The business was initially flooded with negative reviews on Google but those have since been removed.
Another alleged perpetrator, a woman, was said to possibly be a teacher at a Selma elementary school. The school district released a statement saying the woman was not involved.
“The Selma City School District is aware of the unfortunate incident that took place yesterday evening on The Harriet II Riverboat dock in Montgomery,” the post said. “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 in the incident.”
Similarly, like the mini-mart, commentors refused to believe the school’s version of events.
“We all watched the video! If the school system wants to protect and applaud her blatant racism just say that!!! But y’all need to do better!” wrote one.
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*First Published: Aug 7, 2023, 1:18 pm CDT
Katherine Huggins is a New York-based journalist and freelance contributor to the Daily Dot’s tech and politics section. She helps cover the United Nations for the Japanese newspaper Mainichi and previously reported on the 2022 midterm elections for Marketwatch. Her work has appeared in USA Today, Forbes, OpenSecrets and more.