WASHINGTON — A new video from a witness inside Nellie's Sports Bar captured the moments leading up to a woman being dragged down the stairs over the weekend.
It comes just days after another video caught a security guard dragging 22-year-old Keisha Young by her hair. The incident almost immediately sparked outrage from many community members who protested the actions outside the bar and the owner's home in Shaw the next day.
The recently surfaced video showed Young appearing to throw punches during a fight with security guards and employees before someone yanked her down the stairs. However, the 17-second video doesn't show what led up to the brawl.
In a statement, Young's attorney Brandon Burrell said, "Just as one can defend one's self, the law allows one to defend others that are in imminent danger of bodily harm."
Burrell claimed multiple security guards and other staff members were assaulting Young's cousin at the top of the stairs when she jumped in to protect him.
"This physical altercation was initiated by Nellie’s staff when they mistook Ms. Young for another Black woman that allegedly brought a bottle into the establishment," Burrell said. "The actions of Nellie’s staff were not justified."
In an interview with WUSA9 during the protest on Sunday, Young also claimed that Nellie's had a misunderstanding and confused her with another woman who they wanted to leave for allegedly bringing a bottle in from outside.
"They were trying to get some other people out because somebody brought a bottle in there," she said. "Somehow I get mixed up in the altercation because I looked like somebody else and I got hit and dragged down the steps."
Young's cousin Dayon Kidd said he tried to figure out what was happening when she stopped by security. He claimed the situation escalated quickly when one of the security personnel became aggressive and started pushing them to the stairs. Kidd said by the new video was shot, his cousin was trying to protect him.
"The way they were trying to get us out was very uncalled for," Kidd said. "They were manhandling me and since I was an innocent bystander, I'm only walking over to figure out what's going on and there was no reason for me to be pushed or violently talked to or violently touched."
The video shows Kidd in the middle of the brawl also throwing punches but he told WUSA9 he was trying to tell the two security members and two employees to get off of him.
Organizers of the protests agreed with the attorneys on how the new video doesn't change their opinion on what happened. They firmly believe Young didn't deserve to be dragged and call on the owner of Nellie's to release a full surveillance video.
"Any ambiguity concerning what happened that night can be dispelled by Nellie’s releasing the video surveillance," Burrell added.
WUSA9 has reached out to Nellie's for a comment on the recent video but our station has not heard back from the bar as of Wednesday afternoon.
The bar released a statement on Monday:
"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.
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 nonsecurity 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."
An investigator with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration has been assigned to the case.
When the investigation is complete, a case report will be referred to the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board who will determine next steps which may include sending the report to the District’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) for a Show Cause enforcement hearing. The investigative case report is expected to be submitted to the ABC Board and made public no later than Wednesday, June 30.
If a hearing is held, there could be fines and/or suspend or revoke the license depending on whether the licensee is found liable for the charges brought forth by the OAG.