D.C. Gay Bar Hit With Protests After Video Shows Black Woman Dragged Down Stairs

Keisha Young, 22, said she believes guards at Nellie's Sports Bar targeted her amid the city's LGBTQ Pride festivities after mistaking her for someone else.

Staff at a Washington, D.C., gay bar say they鈥檝e fired a security vendor after troubling footage that appeared to show a guard violently dragging a Black female patron down the stairs went viral online.

Footage of the incident, which took place late Saturday and was posted to Twitter and Instagram shortly thereafter, shows 22-year-old Keisha Young being pulled down a staircase at Nellie鈥檚 Sports Bar by an unidentified guard.

Seconds later, a fight involving other patrons erupts at the foot of the staircase.

Speaking to WUSA reporter John Henry on Sunday, Young said she 鈥済ot mixed up in the altercation because I looked like somebody else,鈥 and noted she鈥檇 lost her cell phone and glasses amid the ensuing chaos.

鈥淭here was an altercation in there and they were trying to get some other people out because somebody else brought a bottle in there,鈥 she said. 鈥淚 got hit and dragged down the steps. I didn鈥檛 do nothing wrong, and that鈥檚 all I remember. First walking up the steps, and then getting dragged right back down the steps.鈥

Young and her father were among those who took part in a group protest outside of Nellie鈥檚 Sports Bar on Sunday. According to numerous reports, a second demonstration took place near the purported home of the bar鈥檚 owner, Douglas Schantz.

鈥淲e ask people to protest and boycott because the owner, which is a white man, doesn鈥檛 care about Black women,鈥 one demonstrator said. 鈥淚f he cared, he would come out here and be concerned about what security [has] done to a Black woman in his club.鈥

Capital Pride Alliance, which organized the city鈥檚 LGBTQ Pride celebrations over the weekend, condemned the 鈥渞eprehensible actions鈥 seen in the video in a statement issued Sunday.

鈥淧ride weekend is a time for celebration and remembrance, and this incident is a reminder that we need to do a better job of protecting one another,鈥 read the statement, which can be found in full here. 鈥淐PA is committed to creating safe spaces for all. We expect Nellie鈥檚 to take immediate, remedial action in response to this incident.鈥

By Monday afternoon, Nellie鈥檚 Sports Bar announced on Instagram that the independent security vendor hired specifically for the city鈥檚 Pride celebration had been terminated. The bar itself, they added, would remain closed for the week while the investigation continued.

鈥淲e offer a heartfelt apology to all who witnessed the horrific events of this past weekend,鈥 they added. 鈥淣o matter what behavior occurred prior, nothing warrants mistreating, and disrespecting, one of our guests. What we can say is we have heard the concerns of the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities.鈥

Young鈥檚 family members told Washington City Paper they plan to pursue a civil claim against the bar.

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