A former high school teacher was arrested at a “Families Belong Together” rally in Alabama on Saturday after he allegedly brandished a handgun during a counterprotest.
Shane Ryan Sealy, 34, was arrested on charges of menacing and reckless endangerment after he allegedly pulled out the gun following a scuffle with another attendee in a Huntsville park, police said.
The nationwide protest was organized to rally against President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, according to the event’s Facebook page. The policy has led to the separation of more than 2,000 children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Sealy had been filmed disrupting speakers and a prayer session by pacing back and forth with a sign and shouting “womp womp.” That derisive remark had recently been used by Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in response to a child with Down Syndrome being separated from her parents.
Sealy also repeatedly shouted out the hook to Vanilla Ice’s hit “Ice Ice Baby,” in apparent support of the work done by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to detain immigrants.
At some point Sealy allegedly pushed one of the protesters, who pushed him back, knocking him to the ground. When Sealy got back up, he produced a Glock 19 handgun and “waved it around visible to the crowd,” Huntsville Police Lt. Michael Johnson told HuffPost in an email.
A video posted online captured people shouting as Sealy stands with the handgun pointed in his right hand. Another man standing across from him shouts, “Gun! gun! gun!”
Sealy put the gun back in his waistband before walking away from the crowd. A police cruiser then pulled up to him and multiple officers, who had been monitoring the event, quickly surrounded him, police said.
He was booked into a Madison County jail before being released late Saturday night, jailhouse records show.
According to Huntsville station WHNT, Sealy had briefly worked as an English teacher at the local Grissom High School for about eight weeks in 2016.
Under Alabama state law, firearms of any kind, whether loaded or not, are not permitted at public demonstrations.