Fat Tuesday violence in Seattle's Pioneer Square kills one man on February 27, 2001.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 3/01/2001
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3038
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On February 27, 2001, in Seattle's Pioneer Square, Fat Tuesday revelers turn violent, killing one man (20-year-old Kristopher Kime of Kent died from injuries sustained in a beating) and injuring 71 others. Twenty-one persons are arrested including eight for weapons violations and assault. Mayor Paul Schell (1937-2014) calls for an end to the annual celebration of Mardi Gras, the day before the beginning of Lent.

Fat Tuesday had been planned by businesses in Pioneer Square to celebrate Mardi Gras, the day before the beginning of Lent. Approximately 2,000 unruly partiers caused trouble beginning early Saturday morning, February 24, as bars began to close. Fifty police officers were called in to quell bottle and rock throwing that erupted about 1:00 a.m. Two were arrested and six officers were injured.

On Saturday night, 120 officers were standing by for trouble. At about 1:00 a.m., police arrested a man suspected of waving a gun and a crowd of about 2,000 began throwing rocks, bottles, and fireworks. Officers dispersed the crowd and suffered four injuries, including a broken arm. Six were arrested and a woman was hit by a car. Over two nights of trouble, six businesses reported damage and one store was looted.

On Sunday and Monday evenings, police deployed, but there were no serious problems. Partiers filled the streets, jumped on cars, and made noise.

On Tuesday evening, the climax of Fat Tuesday, 350 officers were deployed and more than 4,000 people gathered in Pioneer Square. Bands of youths indiscriminately set upon individuals, beating them. One man, 20-year-old Kristopher Kime of Kent, died of injuries from such an attack. One car was turned over and set on fire. Police Chief Gil Kerlikowski called the crowd, "incredibly assaultive." He further said, "It's hard to believe that it could turn so ugly and violent" (The Seattle Times).

Mayor Paul Schell declared, "There will be no more Fat Tuesday in Seattle" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer).


Keiko Morris, "Police on Alert After Pioneer Square Ruckus," The Seattle Times, February 25, 2001 (www.seattletimes.com); Keiko Morris, "Seattle's Mardi Gras Gets Ugly Again," Ibid., February 26, 2001; Anne Koch and David Birkland, Ibid., February 27, 2001; Frank Vinluan, Keiko Morris, Mark Rahner, Dave Birkland, "Mardi Gras Ends In Violence," Ibid., February 28, 2001; Keiko Morris, "Fat Tuesday's Turn From Fest to Fistfights," Ibid., March 1, 2001, B-1; "Mardi Gras Revelers Clash With Police," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 24, 2001, (www.seattlep-i.com); Lewis Kamb, "Slimmed Down Fat Tuesday On Tap For Tonight," Ibid., February 27, 2001; Lewis Kamb, "No More Fat Tuesday," Ibid., March 1, 2001, p. B-1.

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