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L.A. Bar Caught On Video Forcibly Removing Two Transgender Women Apologizes Amid Growing Protests

Los Angeles police are now investigating the popular downtown bar Las Perlas after a video clip of the bar’s staff forcibly throwing out a pair of transgender women went viral this past weekend. Authorities are now trying to determine whether a hate crime was committed.

When a group of LGBTQ bar patrons were approached and assaulted by a pair of strangers, the bar responded not by breaking up the conflict, but by dragging out two victims of the alleged assault.

According to Huffpost, the transgender women were part of a group from “Bienestar Human Services, a nonprofit that provides health care and other services to Latino and LGBTQ populations.”

The group was approached by a man and a woman who began insulting them.

Khloe Rios, who would film the later incident on her phone, remembered them saying:

“They said, ‘You guys are all men. You guys don’t belong here’.”

The group responded by telling the strangers:

“‘Please leave us alone. We don’t want problems’.”

The bar’s security staff approached after the unnamed man slapped and pushed a member of the Bienestar team.

Instead of removing them from the bar, however, Las Perlas staff merely asked the two aggressive strangers to leave. With the group of LGBTQ bar-goers, however, the bouncers took physical action, dragging two transgender women out of the bar while Rios filmed the incident.

Jennifer Bianchi, one of the women dragged out by the Las Perlas staff, spoke about the threatening bargoer to the LA Times:

“He … said they would shoot us all and kill us because we were guys. I couldn’t sleep last night. I feel sad. I feel anger. I feel just like I’m in a nightmare.”

Following the incident, the bar’s owner, Cedd Moses, issued a statement on Facebook defending the actions of his staff.

“The guards removed the guests that were not compliant with the manager’s request to leave and did so in accordance with company policy,”

Before long, however, the public backlash began, with groups of over 100 people protesting outside Las Perlas.

Following the public outcry, Moses issued another statement:

“Our first and primary concern, and has been from day one, is to operate a safe place for all people. Period, no exceptions.”

He added:

“We regret that didn’t happen Friday night, and want to apologize to all of our guests including the Transgender community, a community who has come to our bar as well as works there.”

Now, the LAPD is investigating the possibility of Las Perlas staff committing a hate crime.

Beatrice Girmala, assistant chief of the LAPD, commented that the department was “committed to ensuring the safety of every Angeleno.”

Many public officials, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, have denounced the incident.

Twitter stood strongly against the transphobia displayed by Las Perlas staff.

Hopefully, the investigation is finished swiftly and the bar faces appropriate consequences for its actions.

This shirt is available here to declare Trans Rights are Human Rights.

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Written by Collin Gossel

Collin Gossel is a writer and comedian living in Brooklyn, New York, but there are nights when he looks up at the stars and wistfully thinks to himself “there’s got to be more out there…” You can catch Collin improvising new musicals every Tuesday night at the Magnet Theater’s Musical Megawatt, or follow his unfiltered thoughts on Twitter and Instagram @CollinGossel.--