— Austin Kellerman (@AustinKellerman) November 24, 2017
The consumptive American frenzy known as Black Friday got off to an inauspicious if by-now-typical start late Friday night; but we all knew a brawl or two was in the cards.
The fights in question took place at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama.
According to local media, police and firefighters responded to calls of a second floor fight erupting at around 11 p.m. Thursday evening.
Social media gossips quickly spread rumors of gunfire, but authorities just as quickly shut those rumors down–no one was shot at the mall in question, according to local police.
Rather, Lt. Keith Czeskleba said, officers believed the apparent gunshots were actually just fireworks being set off in the parking lot.
Video posted to Facebook showed one of the fights in question–between various women. In that video, the women appear to be fighting over clothes.
The scene is chaotic. Bodies are splayed across the floor. It’s unclear if the people are lying down because they’re unconscious, under arrest, or simply under the impression that they’re in a good place to catch their breath.
Screams from (mostly) women, (a few) men, and (lots of) cops make it difficult to understand much of anything. Arms flail and people are handcuffed. Some question their arrests, others don’t. A huge crowd looks on, smiling, laughing, cheering and recording.
Eventually, one officer screams for everyone to get out, repeatedly. In the video, no one heeds his demands. Reportedly, multiple arrests were eventually made, however, those charges are not immediately clear.
Update: Due to the events described above, the mall in question has decided to close early.
[image via screengrab; video courtesy Rèd Gótti]