San Francisco nightclub DNA Lounge is defending the restraining measures its security guards used on a Black woman over the Halloween weekend.
Lauren Hopkins, a visitor to the club, took to Instagram and said she was placed in a chokehold by security.
DNA Lounge released a statement, accusing Hopkins of hitting several staff members, followed by a video of what they say led to the altercation.
Jessica Lennon, DNA Lounge’s general manager, showed a surveillance video from the Halloween weekend, showing DNA security restraining an intoxicated and violent customer who was denied access to the club.
“Her friends step in between her and security trying to keep her from continuing to engage with us. That’s the point where she kicks one of my security guards,” Lennon described.
Lennon said Hopkins struck several members of DNA’s security while refusing to be escorted away. She said she saw the incident happen firsthand.
Lennon also says she did not see Hopkins put in a chokehold.
“From my perspective, there was no actual pressure being put on her throat,” Lennon said. “My head of security has been doing his job for a very long time and he’s very good at it. He had his arms exactly where they needed to be, in order to control her movement without compressing her airway.”
However, Hopkins says the DNA video doesn’t show how it all began.
“DNA Lounge’s own security guards putting their hands on me when they shouldn’t have, and me defending myself,” she recalled. “At that point I was livid.”
Hopkins insists she was choked and does not believe what happened to her was justified.
“No,” she said. “Absolutely not. I don’t have a medical degree. I told my account to the medics. They didn’t tell me that I was lying. They didn’t say I was being delusional.”
According to Lennon, the incident has led to several staff members being harassed in the community.
“I have about 50 staff at DNA Lounge. Fifteen of them are security, and all of our staff are incredibly shaken up right now,” she said.
In response to a question about whether the force used by security was justified, she said, “I believe that the woman in the video left them no other option at that point but to restrain her.”
No arrests were made at the scene, and no criminal charges were filed by either side. San Francisco police say there are no investigative updates to this incident.