Just Another Guy with Opinions

Family Feud Causes Riot

Posted by shadmia on August 31, 2009

Riot policePerry County JailDA Michael Jackson

Members of the Sawyer and Moore families squared off in Marion, Alabama, a city of 3,300 about 85 miles west of Montgomery, in what has been described as a full-scale riot. The two feuding families and their friends lined opposite sides of the small-town Alabama street and hurled rocks, tools and pieces of wood at each other, striking the police chief with a crowbar, in a dispute rooted in a disagreement that began years ago with schoolchildren. The melee swelled to around 150 people.

”They came with guns, sticks, bricks, golf clubs. It was a bad situation,” said police chief Tony Bufford.

”Part of it was families that didn’t get along with each other. It’s big families with a lot of friends,” District Attorney for Perry County, Michael Jackson said, adding that gang members also were involved.

The current problems began on Sunday night (8/23/09) when at least one shot was fired after a basketball game.

”They shot my truck up with my 1-year-old baby inside,” said Littenger Moore, 30.

The next day, Monday, a fight broke out at the Francis Marion High School resulting in the arrest of two people. Relatives of those arrested followed officers to police headquarters, where a crowd gathered. Authorities said six more people were arrested there after the argument turned violent.

For nearly an hour, people involved wielded knives, clubs, pieces of cement and even a cantaloupe and a plate of food. The police chief, Tony Buford, was struck in the head with a tire iron.

Compared to the four police on duty, Chief Tony Buford said the police were stuck in the middle of the riot – outnumber. “We called in outside resources right away because there was no way the four police officers… and the deputy sheriff here on the scene could control 110 people.” The mob grew to about 175 people, according to police. Law officers from throughout west Alabama were called in to the area to help.

Marion City HallMarion, AlabamaPerry County

In a small office building across the street from City Hall, attorney Jeff Nail and law office employee Debi Foster watched from behind locked doors as the angry crowd gathered between the buildings.

“I saw a lady with a baseball bat,” Foster said. “There’s still a broken mop in the driveway.”

Nail said the families and their supporters lined the streets, facing off.

“There was a lot of loud talk and one person would go up to the other side and then run back and then they started throwing stuff back and forth,” Nail said.

Jackson said bond was set at $250,000 for a suspect charged with having a gun at the high school, and he and others remained in custody. Charged with assault, Littenger Moore spent the night in jail but was freed on bond Tuesday.

Jackson said his office will take a tough stand against those charged in Monday’s melee in Marion, Alabama. “That kind of behavior can’t be tolerated,” Michael Jackson said. “Both the adults and minors should be ashamed of themselves.

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