Protests have erupted in Washington, DC, after a video showing a white security guard dragging a Black woman down the stairs at a sports bar went viral.
Keisha Young, a 22-year-old college student at Morgan State University, has been identified as the woman in a viral video. The incident took place on Saturday night.
Young says she was dragged into an altercation which had nothing to do with her.
“It was an altercation in there,” she told WUSA9. “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.”
The Nellie’s Sports Bar owners say that they hired a third-party security vendor to work Pride Week.
Nellie’s posted the following statement to their Facebook Page:
“Our investigation into the matter is ongoing, and we will cooperate with any law enforcement investigation, however we do not need to wait for the investigation’s conclusion before we take decisive action,” the statement reads. “We offer a heartfelt apology to all who witnessed the horrific events of this past weekend. No matter what behavior occurred prior, nothing warrants mistreating, and disrespecting, one of our guests.”
According to the Washington City Paper, the protest was organized by Nee Nee Taylor, a member of Harriet’s Dreams (a Black-led abolitionist community defense hub that centers Black lives and liberation in the D.C. region).
During the protest, Young was able to retrieve her phone. Taylor told the outlet that she asked an employee to help facilitate a meeting between Young and the bar’s White owner, Douglas Schantz.
The owner was not on the premises, and she was told that he was not planning to visit the bar anytime soon.
“The owner of Nellie’s don’t care enough about Black people to come and make sure that his Black patron, who is Keisha, was safe and OK,” Taylor told a reporter. “So we ask the people to protest and boycott Nellie’s because the owner, who is a White man, don’t care about Black women. If he cared, he would come out here and be concerned about what security done to a Black woman in his club.”
Young’s family is considering filing a civil claim against the bar.