Keisha Young dragged down DC bar Nellie’s stairs felt profiled as Black woman
Keisha Young's attorney Brandon Burrell said that his client felt singled out, in part because of her skin color, 'despite the fact that the guard who pulled her out was Black himself'
WASHINGTON, DC: At Nellie’s Sports Bar in Washington DC, 22-year-old Keisha Young was dragged down a set of stairs by the bar’s security. The footage went viral on social media on Sunday, June 13, resulting in a mass protest. While she initially claimed that it was a mix-up that caused the incident, Young is now saying she felt profiled.
Earlier, Young had said, “There was an altercation in there and they were trying to get some other people out because somebody else brought a bottle in there. Somehow I got mixed up in the altercation because I looked like somebody else. And I got hit and dragged down the steps. I didn’t do anything wrong, and that’s all I remember. First walking up the steps and then getting dragged right back down the steps.”
The bar posted a now-deleted statement on 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.”
TMZ spoke with Young's attorney Brandon Burrell, who said that his client felt that she was singled out, in part, because of her skin color and that she felt she "fit the description" of someone who had broken the rules on Saturday night, June 12, when the incident occurred. They felt that what happened reeked of “racial profiling, despite the fact that the guard who pulled her out was Black himself.”
Burrell said that first and foremost, the bar owners and upper management needed to apologize to Young directly. As per Young and her lawyer, the statement issued by the bar simply wasn't enough to “right their wrongs” because they had not bothered addressing Young by name. They also told TMZ that Nellie's team had not yet spoken to her personally since the incident. Burrell also said that Nellie's needed to seriously look at itself in the mirror and “honestly discuss how they're treating patrons who are BIPOC.”
He said that both he and his client want to be part of that conversation. Aside from that, they want the security employee prosecuted, and they plan to file a police report soon. In another statement, the bar said that it had terminated, with immediate effect, the independent security vendor hired to “protect our guests during Pride Week.” Mentioning that the bar would cooperate with any law enforcement investigation, the statement offered 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.”
“What we can say is we have heard the concerns of the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities. Nellie’s will be closed this week as we evaluate this regrettable situation, though we will continue to pay all non-security staff their normal wages. In the interim, we will use this time to listen and understand what more we can do to create the safe and friendly atmosphere our guests have come to expect from Nellie’s Sports Bar over the past 14 years,” the statement said. A GoFundMe campaign started by Young to pay for legal fees and therapy has so far (at the time of reporting this) raised in excess of $10,000 of its $75,000 goal.