A video is going viral of two transgender women and a gay man being forcibly removed from a downtown Los Angeles Bar.
According to ABC7, the incident happened this past Friday night at Las Perlas Bar on East 6th Street. The Los Angeles Police Department says that a hate crime report has been filed and they are investigating the incident.
On that night the group of co-workers who volunteer for Bienestar Human Services, a nonprofit organization supporting LGBTQ Latinos, were getting drinks, according to KTLA. The group was celebrating the successful DTLA Proud Festival. But then they say they were verbally attacked with transphobic slurs by another man and woman in the establishment. The altercation got so heated that guards were called to break it up.
“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,'” the non-profit said.
In a written statement, bar managers say that both groups were asked to leave and the guard became physical with anyone who refused to go.
“Our manager on duty asked both groups to leave as the safety and security of our patrons and employees is our top priority and we have zero tolerance for this type of behavior in our establishments,” the statement read. “The guards removed the guests that were not compliant with the manager’s request to leave and did so in accordance with company policy.”
But Jennifer Bianchi and Khloe Rios, who were among the LGBTQ group forced out of the building, are still upset with how the moment was handled. They say excessive force wasn’t used on the group who started to fight.
“While the heterosexual couple was asked to leave the establishment, the group of trans women were approached by bar security staff and eventually physically and aggressively removed from the bar,” Bienestar said.
“Our trans community does not feel safe, especially after our lives being threatened,” said Bienestar Human Services program manager, Khloe Perez-Rios, who recorded the video of the incident. “Las Perlas must answer for how this situation was handled – and being next door to Redline, an LGBTQ-focused bar, this is unacceptable. Our community demands answers and action.”
While video footage of the moment is going viral, Rios and company held a protest against the bar on Saturday to point out the bad management. And again, police are investigating.