Seattle Mardi Gras Riots

Seattle Mardi Gras Riots

Seattle Mardi Gras Riots

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The Seattle Mardi Gras riots occurred on February 27, 2001, when disturbances broke out in the Pioneer Square neighborhood during Mardi Gras celebrations in Seattle, Washington. There were numerous random attacks on revelers over a period of about three and a half hours. There were reports of widespread brawling, vandalism, and weapons being brandished. Damage to local businesses exceeded $100,000.

Much of the violence was perpetrated by black men against white revelers, and about 70 people were reported injured. Several women were sexually assaulted. One person, Kris Kime, died of injuries sustained during an attempt to assist a woman being brutalized.

It was the second serious rioting incident in over a three year period seen in Seattle—the first being the 1999 World Trade Organization's Minister Level Conference On World Free Trade. There were allegations of police misconduct and the highly controversial action, or inaction, of officials in response to the riots were questioned.


Pioneer Square is often described as the center of Seattle's nightlife and was the site of Mardi Gras celebrations since 1977. More than 90 civilians and 30 officers were injured there during disorders in 1979.

Festivities on the Friday and Saturday leading up to 2001's Fat Tuesday were quickly broken up by police. This led to complaints from event goers. Up to 2,000 people gathered in the neighborhood on...
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