*The owners of a Washington, D.C., bar said they have “terminated, with immediate effect, the independent security vendor hired to protect our guests during Pride Week.”
The move comes after a video surfaced showing security at Nellie’s Sports Bar dragging a Black woman down a flight of stairs by her hair. A protest was held outside the establishment located in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington D.C. We previously reported, the demonstration, which began around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, included dozens of people shouting and holding signs outside the popular LGBTQ+ bar.
Keisha Young, 22, of Maryland, told WUSA9 that she was the woman seen being dragged out of Nellie’s in that viral video on Instagram. Young said she did nothing to deserve the treatment she received, and that the incident happened shortly after she walked up the stairs to the bar.
“It was an altercation in there,” she said. “They were trying to get some other people out because somebody else brought a bottle in there. Somehow I got mixed up in an altercation because I look like somebody else and I got hit and dragged down the steps.”
Nellie’s released a statement on Instagram amid the protest: “We were incredibly upset and disturbed to see the unfortunate event that took place at Nellie’s last night. We are undergoing a full investigation of the situation. At Nellie’s, we foster an inclusive and safe environment, so events like this are completely unacceptable to us.”
The bar’s owners also said on Facebook that they have parted ways with the security team. On a video call Monday with her lawyer, Young said: “I feel like, even just separating race from it, no man should ever handle a woman in that way. That should never be OK,” according to Washington’s WRC-TV.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday: “Obviously, entrepreneurs enforce rules in their restaurants. But they’re not allowed to assault anybody.”
Nellie’s owners said it “will be closed this week as we evaluate this regrettable situation.”
“No matter what behavior occurred prior, nothing warrants mistreating, and disrespecting, one of our guests,” the owners said.