Will the LGBTQ Latino group get the apology they seek?
Around this time last month, a group of LGBTQ Latino people were forcibly removed from a downtown Los Angeles Bar. The group of volunteers and co-workers for Bienestar Human Services, a nonprofit supporting LGBTQ Latinos, were at the Las Perlas Bar celebrating the DTLA Proud Festival. But according to them, other customers started to pick verbal fights with them.
“The group of trans women tried to de-escalate the situation, then the couple shouted and threatened the group by saying, ‘We will come back and kill you,’” Bienestar Human Services said in a statement.
At that point, both groups were asked to leave the establishment, but only the LGBTQ Latinos were forcibly removed. A video of this physical altercation then went viral online.
Now a month later, the group says that they have yet to receive a public apology or justice for the incident. But, they haven’t stopped searching.
Fernanda Celarie, Jennifer Bianchi, Khloe Perez-Rios and Jorge Diaz spoke at a news conference with attorney Lisa Bloom (the same attorney who represented Kathy Griffin during the Trump head fiasco) to share more of their side of the story. At the conference, they restated that the group were simply trying to keep the peace while being attacked.
“When we tried to intervene to prevent injury to Fernanda, the transphobic couple only became more violent,” Perez-Rios said. “The female aggressor threw punches at me. The couple then threatened our lives by saying ‘I’m going to come back and kill you all.'”
“I asked management numerous times to call 911 but they failed to do so,” added Diaz. “I asked them numerous times not to remove us from their establishment, but they failed to listen.”
In response to these expanded accusations, the restaurant owner Pouring With Heart denies a need to apologize as security guards acted “in accordance with company policy.” That said, the company later shared that it has hired a new security company “that has received sensitivity training.”
As for the aggressive couple that started it all, the police have been unable to identify and find them. Though the Los Angeles Police Department is still investigating the situation as a hate-crime.