Staff at a gay bar in Washington
, say they fired a security
vendor after disturbing video of a guard violently dragging a Black
female patron down the stairs went viral
on social media
Footage from the incident, which occurred late Saturday and was quickly shared on Twitter
, shows Keisha Young, 22, being dragged down a staircase at Nellie's Sports
Bar by an unidentified security guard.
A fight breaks out at the bottom of the staircase a few seconds later, involving other customers.
Young told WUSA reporter John Henry on Sunday that she "got mixed up in the altercation because I looked like somebody else," and that she'd misplaced her cell phone and glasses in the ensuing chaos.
TW:// Police brutality
A SECURITY OFFICER AT NELLIES IN DC DRAGGED A YOUNG WOMAN DOWN A FLIGHT OF STAIRS BY HER HAIR
pic.twitter.com/Cordh26053 — • big unc •(they•them) (@lxoelo)
“There was an altercation in there, and they were trying to get some other people
out because someone else brought a bottle in there,” she explained, adding, “I got hit and dragged down the steps. I didn't do anything wrong, and that's all I remember. Walking up the steps, and then being dragged right back down the steps.”
Young and her father were among those who took part in a group protest
outside of Nellie's Sports Bar on Sunday, and a second protest took place near the purported home of the bar's owner, Douglas Schantz, according to multiple reports.
“We ask people to protest and boycott because the owner, a white man, doesn’t care about Black women
,” one demonstrator said, adding, “If he cared, he would come out here and be concerned about what security did to a Black woman in his club.”
In a statement released on Sunday, the Capital Pride
Alliance, which organized the city's LGBTQ
Pride celebrations over the weekend, condemned the "reprehensible actions" depicted in the video.
“Pride weekend is a time for celebration and remembrance, and this incident serves as a reminder that we must do a better job of protecting one another,” read the statement, which can be found in full here. “CPA is committed to creating safe spaces for all, and we expect Nellie’s to take immediate, corrective action in response to this incident.”
By Monday afternoon, Nellie's Sports Bar had announced on Instagram that the independent security vendor hired specifically for the city's Pride celebration had been fired, and that the bar would be closed for the week while the investigation
Nellie's Sports Bar (@nelliessportsbar) shared this on Instagram.
“We offer a heartfelt apology
to all who witnessed the horrific events of this past weekend,” they added, adding that “no matter what behavior occurred prior, nothing warrants mistreating and disrespecting one of our guests. What we can say is that we have heard the concerns of the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities.”
Young's family members have told the Washington City Paper that they intend to sue the bar.