E-2 Tragedy

Additional Images
Sub Categories
Image Description

Photograph of a young Black man with white and blue text surrounding

Back Style
The Shape
The Size
Additional Information

On February 17, 2003 tragedy struck club dancers in Chicago when a bouncer pepper-sprayed a group of fighting patrons in the overcrowded E-2 nightclub. The result was a panic-driven stampede that left 21 people dead and more than 50 injured. Initial legal investigation of the events leading up to the tragedy was handled at the city-level and focused on the liability of the club owners in the deaths. Club owners had been repeatedly advised by the city that the building was not up to code and kept in business without addressing health and safety violations, notably failing to set safe occupancy limits and, in some accounts, failing to provide patrons with access to emergency exits. The training of club bouncers was also investigated, and local leaders were quoted drawing attention to the quality of training for emergency responders. Chicagoans continued to be critical of the results of the city-level investigation in its aftermath. Surviving family of the deceased were quoted as expressing a lack of closure in their grief. This button reflects the calls for a Federal investigation that emerged from the local tragedy.


Encyclopædia Britannica. (n.d.). Building code. Britannica Academic. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://academic-eb-com.ezproxy1.library.arizona.edu/levels/collegiate/…

"Bouncer describes E2 crowd: Guard says he used pepper spray in fight." Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL). Tribune. 2007. Retrieved November 02, 2012 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-158179926.html. Site access Jan 27 2023 via Wayback Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/20121102203212/http://www.highbeam.com/doc/…

"E2 Stampede Remembered Six Years Later" NBC Chicago. (Chicago, IL). NBC Chicago. 2009. Retrieved January 27,2023 from NBC Chicago: https://www.nbcchicago.com/local/e2_stampede_remembered_six_years_later…

"E2 owners say they were scapegoats for 'botched rescue effort'" Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL). Tribune. 2011. Retrieved January 27, 2023 from Chicago Tribune: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2011-11-17-chi-e2-nightclub-…

"The E2 stampede: 21 deaths, 500 hours" Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL). Tribune. 2015. Retrieved January 27,2023 from Chicago Tribune: https://www.chicagotribune.com/opinion/editorials/ct-e2-nightclub-stamp…

"E2 owners get probation, not prison, in resentencing after fatal 2003 stampede" Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL). Tribune. 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2023 from Chicago Tribune: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-e2-tragedy-sentencing-m…

Catalog ID CA0885