22-Year-Old student dragged by hair down steps at Nellie’s.

By Micha Green
AFRO D.C. and Digital Editor
mgreen@afro.com

When an outside alcohol bottle was allegedly brought into Nellie’s Sports Bar, a popular D.C. LGBTQIA+ hangout, during Pride celebrations on the night of June 12, Keisha Young, 22, was mistakenly identified as one of the culprits and then violently dragged down the venue’s steps by security.

Young’s mother took to Instagram the following day to post the graphic video of her 22-year-old being dragged by her long, blonde, braids down Nellie’s steps- her body hitting each step hard and loud- before her cousins defended her by fighting the security guards for the violent behavior and flagrant disregard for her being.

“I do not play when it comes to my daughter,” Tammy Young posted.  “You see how your security guards dragging my daughter down the f**king steps? And yes my niece and nephews jumped in to save her,” the concerned and outraged mother wrote on Instagram.

Several people took to social media to proclaim that Nellie’s was notorious for their racist actions towards people of color, despite their public push for inclusivity and care for Black lives, with a Black Lives Matter sign in their window.

It didn’t take long for the violent video to go viral on social media and soon after, Harriet’s Wildest Dreams, a Black-led community defense organization, began promoting a justice rally in front of Nellie’s for the 22-year-old, who is a Morgan State University student.

“Enough is enough! Meet us at Nellie’s at 7 p.m. to support Keisha after being brutalized by security,” Harriet’s Wildest Dreams posted on June 13.

Young, who fortunately survived the violence, was present for the rally and explained to WUSA9 the occurrence that had her protesting at the place she had been partying at not even 24 hours before.

“It was an altercation in there,” she said.  “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 nothing wrong and that’s all I remember is first walking up the steps and getting dragged right back down the steps,” the 22-year-old added.

Nellie’s Sports Bar released a statement about the video showing Young being dragged down the steps.

“This isn’t Nellie’s first offense, it won’t be their last.  Shut ‘em down,” one Instagram user wrote.

Harriet’s Wildest Dreams hosted a justice rally for Keisha Young, who was brutally dragged by her braids at Nellie’s Sports Bar in Northwest, D.C. (Courtesy Photo)

“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,” read a statement posted on the Nellie’s Sports Bar Instagram page. “At Nellie’s we foster an inclusive and safe environment, so events like this are completely unacceptable to us.”

However, many are not convinced and none too pleased by Nellie’s social media statement, which noticeably prevented all users from commenting on the picture and recent posts on the bar’s page.

Some social media users have taken to extremely old posts to protest the venue.

“WHICH ONE IS THE GUY WHO DRAGGED A YOUNG WOMAN DOWN THE STEPS,” one Instagrammer commented in all capital letters on a post from December 22, 2020 which was created to introduce people to the Nellie’s staff.

One person commented with a trash emoji and another Instagram user wrote, “Close this bar.”

According to an Instagram post from June 14 by Nee Nee Tay of Harriet’s Wildest Dreams, Nellie’s Sports Bar decided to shut down for the week after the incident and fired the security company they were working with, as the June 12 brutality continues to be investigated.

Many argue Young would not have been dragged by her braids, or treated violently at all, had she been a White woman and are using the hashtag #ProtectBlackWomen.

The 22-year-old, visibly affected from the trauma of being violently removed from Nellie’s, told a WUSA9 reporter, “I want them gone.”

Young’s mother said she will be taking legal action in order to get justice for her daughter.

“You will be hearing from my lawyer,” the mother added. “We need justice.”

There is currently a GoFundMe page to raise money to cover the 22-year-old’s legal fees as well as much-needed therapy after the occurrence she called, “a lot.”  To donate to Young visit Go Fund Me or https://harrietsdreams.org where there is a tab “Keisha GoFundMe,” which takes online users directly to the page.

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Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor