August 17, 1986: 40 Injured In Riot At Run-D.M.C. Concert

Two-hundred Los Angeles youth gang members began fighting with the crowd, some using snapped-off chair legs as weapons.

By Gina Tron

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On August 17, 40 people were injured at a Run-D.M.C concert after a riot broke loose before the popular, headlining rap group even took to the stage.

Approximately 60 security guards at the Long Beach Arena waved metal detectors over the thousands of attendees. By doing so, they collected a whole lot of guns, knives and pipes. However, that didn’t halt violence at the concert. Whodini and L.L. Cool J were among the opening acts for the rap group’s  Raising Hell tour. While Whodini played, 200 Los Angeles youth gang members began fighting with the crowd. Some even used snapped-off chair legs as weapons.

“Please,” one Whodini member pleaded to the crowd. “This is a place to party. This is a place to hear music.”

The mayor of Long Beach responded by threatening to ban rock concerts from his city all together.

About 40 people were treated for injuries after being beaten, stabbed or both. That very same weekend, a shooting at a Brooklyn concert broke out. A teen boy was killed and three were wounded in the gun fire.

Joe Simmons, known as Run from the Run-D.M.C said of the aggressors at his show: “These kids have nothing to do with Run-D.M.C. They would have hit me in the head too. They are against everything I’m for.”

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