On Sunday evening, people gathered to protest outside of Nellie’s Sports Bar, a gay bar in Washington, D.C., after a disturbing video went viral that appeared to show a Black woman being dragged by her hair down the stairs. Dragged by whom? Allegedly, a member of the bar’s security team. It’s unknown what precisely led to the incident, but it’s deeply, inarguably unacceptable for someone to be removed from an establishment in this violent, demeaning fashion. Period. Keisha Young, a 22-year-old from Maryland, identified herself as the woman being dragged in the video.
“I want them gone,” she said during an interview with local outlet WUSA9 in reference to the bar, after being asked what she wants to happen next.
Young elaborated on her experience, saying, “It was an altercation in there … 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.” She stressed she did “nothing wrong” and she remembers simply walking up the steps and then “being dragged right back down the steps.”
When asked what it was like to see the video of herself being dragged by the steps, she said, “It’s a little bit much.”
You can watch that interview below.
“An apology is not going to get rid of the bruises on my body,” Young said in response to the statement issued by Nellie’s, as reported by local outlet WJLA. The same outlet reports that it contacted the Metropolitan Police Department and was told they received no service calls for Nellie’s related to the incident.
Some protesters marched to the home of the owner of Nellie’s, also located in the U street neighborhood, which you can see below.
And here are videos and images from the protest, where people share why they’re showing up for the young woman in the video, and why it’s especially important during Pride Month.
Nellie’s posted a statement to Facebook, saying: “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.”
This incident is not the first time Nellie’s has had to issue an apology—you might remember that back in 2017, the popular sports bar apologized after displaying a “blue line” flag. The establishment removed the flag, but people—and especially people of color—have not forgotten.
You can watch coverage of the protest, and the interview with Young, below.
And lastly, you can view the video of the incident below. As a warning, the violence is graphic and may be disturbing to viewers.