Viral video showing a group of gay men and transgender women being forcibly removed from a Los Angeles, California bar on Friday night has prompted the Los Angeles Police Department to open an investigation into the incident.
The footage recorded by Khloe Perez-Rios went viral over the weekend and begins as one person is being carried out of Las Perlas. The footage turns to show another woman, identified by the L.A. Times as Jennifer Bianchi, who is heard shouting, "Don't touch me like that!"
Bianchi is then shoved into wall, and she shoves back, saying she needs her shoe, before she's eventually carried out by the security staff.
Footage also showed a third woman being put in a chokehold while being forced out of the bar.
According to the caption accompanying the video, the group of coworkers from Bienestar Human Services were celebrating after participating at DTLA Proud, while eating tacos and quesadillas, when a couple at the bar began calling the group "transphobic slurs," leading to an argument.
"My friend was insulted and called a bunch of derogatory names and then I proceeded to go and speak to this guy. I was like, 'You can't do this, you can't call her -- you can't mistreat her,' so the guy started getting aggressive, started yelling at me, calling me all sorts of names, saying that I was a man, that I was a man," said Bianchi.
"They were saying that we are not women, that we do not belong there, that we should get out," Perez-Rios told the Washington Post. "That this was not a bar for us."
That's when bar security guards got involved and the fracas ensued.
"Our first and primary concern, and has been from day one, is to operate a safe place for all people. Period, no exceptions. 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," the bar wrote in a post on Facebook. "We are taking immediate steps to fully investigate what happened on Friday and to address each concern that we've received since then."
The bar said its first priority would be to hire a new security company, one that had received sensitivity training. A lawyer will also be given the tapes and a description of events on Friday to make an analysis of "what happened and how to ensure it doesn't happen again."
The Los Angeles Police Department said on Twitter that it was investigating the incident.
"Whether in public, or inside of a private establishment, all Angelenos deserve the freedom to coexist in harmony," the LAPD tweeted Sunday. "Although we cannot comment on an ongoing investigation, rest assured the LAPD will thoroughly investigate the incident at Las Perlas."
The footage does not show the initial alleged attack.
Bianchi told the L.A. Times that the man who confronted her group of co-workers threw a piece of metal at the door of the bar from the street, and then said they would "shoot us all and kill us because we were guys."
The group has filed a hate crime report, which the LAPD is investigating.