Pride

Protests after horrifying video shows security guard dragging woman down the stairs by her hair at LGBT+ bar

Emma Powys Maurice June 14, 2021
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Nellie's Sports Bar

Footage from Nellie's Sports Bar in DC (Twitter/@Harriet's Dreams)

There were protests in Washington DC over Pride weekend after a horrifying viral video showed a security guard dragging a woman down stairs by her braids.

Footage taken at Nellie’s Sports Bar, a popular LGBT+ venue, shows other patrons jumping in and fighting with the security guard as he pulls her head first down the stairs.

The scene quickly grows chaotic as several people grapple with the guard in an attempt to separate him from the woman, who was later identified as 22-year-old Keisha Young.

“It was an altercation in there,” she told NBC 4 Washington. “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.”

Young has started a GoFundMe to “pay for lawyer and doctor fees,” explaining that she lost her glasses, iPhone and shoes in the incident, and some of her clothing was ripped off.

“My body aches and I am bruised up,” she said. “I am aching all over my body, I can’t walk straight because my hip is in pain.”

The shocking video quickly spread online with the hashtags #JusticeforKeisha and #ProtectBlackWomen.

“Nellie’s brutalised a Black woman by dragging her down the steps by her hair,” wrote one person who shared the video. “We need our LGBTQ fam to boycott Nellies and show up tonight.”

Warning: the below video contains violent scenes.

By the next day, Sunday (13 June), a sizeable protest had formed outside Nellie’s and marched to the owner’s home nearby.

“She was assaulted and dragged by her hair – and when I say dragged, I say dragged like an animal on her back,” one protester said.

“We’re here to hold their ass accountable, because there is no Pride without Black people, because Stonewall was a motherf***ing riot.”

Nellie’s Sports Bar released a statement on Facebook, saying the incident was “completely unacceptable”.

“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,” they said.

“At Nellie’s we foster an inclusive and safe environment, so events like this are completely unacceptable to us.”

Related topics: Washington DC

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