The month of June is all about Pride and celebrating the LGBTQ community. Unfortunately, not everyone has enjoyed all the Pride celebrations in the last few weeks. On Saturday June 12th, a young black woman was dragged by her hair outside Nellie's Sports Bar in Washington, DC. Since the incident occurred, protesters have gathered outside the bar, demanding justice. The young woman has even spoken out herself, detailing the injustice and mistreatment she experienced. Now she demands the bar be shutdown immediately.
The footage from the incident quickly went viral on Twitter and Instagram. In the clip, 22-year-old Keisha Young is shown being violently dragged up and down the stairs by an unidentified guard. Within seconds, a fight erupts at the bottom of the stairs.
A swarm of patrons attacks the guard from behind. All the while, Young remains on the ground, caught in the middle of the ensuing fight that breaks out.
In spite of the mistaken identity, however, the guard seemingly targeted Young from the start.
“There was an altercation in there and they were trying to get some other people out because somebody else brought a bottle in there. I got hit and dragged down the steps. I didn’t do nothing wrong, and that’s all I remember. First walking up the steps, and then getting dragged right back down the steps,” she told the WUSA reporter.
It’s unclear why the guard chose to use such a violent display of action towards Keisha Young, even in the case of a mistaken identity. Though, it’s for certain that Nellie’s Bar suffered quite a lot of backlash during Pride weekend.
After the incident occurred, Keisha Young and her father protested outside the bar. Additionally, the 22-year-old received support from others who’ve paid witness to her mistreatment. Fortunately, the Black Lives Matter division in DC jumped to Young’s defense and helped organize a protest demonstration outside the bar at 6:30pm on Sunday. Now, both Young and protestors have demanded that the sports bar get shutdown.
Taking matters a step further, protesters also held demonstrations outside bar owner, Douglas Schantz’s home. In a statement released by one of the demonstrators, it claimed that Schantz is “a white man who doesn’t care about black women.” Furthermore, the demonstrator has demanded that the bar owner be “boycotted” against.
Even Washington DC’s Capital Pride Alliance organization added their two cents to the matter. The organization, who coordinated Washington D.C’s Pride weekend bash, sent out a tweet on June 14th that "condemned the reprehensible actions of Nellie’s sports bar." Additionally, the organization reminded folks to "do a better job at protecting one another."
In retrospect, Keisha Young’s case has gone viral to the point that it’s become a statewide phenomena. Footage of the protests taking place outside Nellie’s Bar show just how much love and support surrounds Young.
After enduring a long weekend of protests, Nellie’s Sports Bar finally decided to give into the city’s demands. Last Sunday, the once-popular gay establishment issued an apology to the LGBTQ community and its patrons on Instagram amid the protests. They assured their guests that they planned to do a full-on investigation into the incident.
This past Monday, though, the sports bar reissued another statement concerning Keisha Young’s incident. The sports bar noted that they terminated the security team responsible for the violent incident. Additionally, they announced that they’ll be “closed all this week as they reevaluate the regrettable situation.”
At this time, the investigation has remained on-going. Hopefully, Keisha Young will receive the justice she deserves in the end.