Seattle Mardi Gras Riots

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 actions of officials in response to the riots were questioned.

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Seattle Mardi Gras Riots - Reactions
... The day after the riot, local newspapers carried a picture of a black man with brass knuckles engaged in an assault which came to symbolize the riot ... According to the Seattle Weekly shortly after the incident, police did not see the attacks as solely or even predominately racial violence ... The Seattle police force voted a resolution of "no confidence" in Chief Kerlikowske when officers complained of being "held back too long" ...

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