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Black 14-Year-Old Falsely Accused of Theft in a SoHo Hotel

Black Ambrosia

Well-Known Member

Video Shows Black 14-Year-Old Falsely Accused of Theft in a SoHo Hotel​

A woman falsely accused the teenager of taking her phone in the video, which fueled concerns about racial profiling. It was shared by the teenager’s father, a prominent jazz musician.​



On Saturday afternoon, Keyon Harrold, a prominent jazz musician, and his 14-year-old son walked into the lobby of the Arlo, a boutique hotel in SoHo where they were staying, when they were accosted by a woman they had never seen before.

The woman falsely accused the teenager of taking her cellphone and demanded that he give it back. Tensions escalated, with the woman insisting that the teenager had the phone, yelling at him and eventually tackling him and trying to look in his pockets before they could be separated, Mr. Harrold said.

Mr. Harrold, who is Black, captured parts of the altercation in a cellphone video, which was shared widely on social media this weekend as another example of false accusations against Black people. It drew comparisons to an incident in May when a white woman called 911 to falsely claim that a Black bird-watcher in Central Park was threatening her life.
Mr. Harrold said in an interview on Sunday that the SoHo episode had left him “shellshocked.”

He said he believed that he and his son, Keyon Harrold Jr., may have been racially profiled, though he said he did not know the race of the woman.

“I wonder what would happen if it were different, if it were a Black woman and there was a white 14-year-old,” he said.

In Mr. Harrold’s video, the hotel manager can be seen identifying himself and asking the son to produce a cellphone, in an apparent attempt to verify the woman’s claim. But the manager had no reason to believe the woman, Mr. Harrold said.

“They assumed he was guilty,” Mr. Harrold said. “The management didn’t even question her as to why she would even think he had the phone.”

The woman has not been publicly identified. Both the police and the hotel declined to share a name, and Mr. Harrold said he did not know who she was or how to contact her.

She had previously been a guest at the hotel earlier in the week, Mr. Harrold said he had been told by the hotel.

The hotel also told Mr. Harrold that an Uber driver found her phone later in the day, and she picked it up from the hotel, Mr. Harrold said.

Keyon Harrold plays trumpet in New York City in 2016.

Keyon Harrold plays trumpet in New York City in 2016.

The hotel did not answer questions on Sunday about the woman. Arlo, which has two hotels in the city, advertises its SoHo location as a trendy destination with a rooftop bar and Hudson River views. Heated cabins in its courtyard can take guests “away to the country without ever leaving the city,” the hotel says on its website.

In a statement, the hotel apologized to Mr. Harrold and his son. While the hotel said the manager called the police to report the incident and hotel security had stepped in, “more could have been done to de-escalate the dispute.”

“We’re deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo hotel,” the hotel said, adding that it was committed to “making sure this never happens again at any of our hotels.”

Police officials confirmed that they received a report of an incident at the hotel on Saturday and said they were investigating.

The episode at the hotel followed several recent instances where racist treatment of Black people has been caught on video and disseminated widely, including the Central Park incident in May, which occurred after the Black bird-watcher asked a white woman to leash her dog.

Mr. Harrold, who is from Ferguson, Mo., moved to New York City and began playing jazz professionally at the age of 19. He has performed with high-profile artists like Common, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Rihanna, and he appeared on a soundtrack for a jazz biopic about Miles Davis, “Miles Ahead,” that won a Grammy Award in 2017.

Mr. Harrold said he had been staying at the Arlo hotel since mid-December. He lives in Long Island City, Queens, but he said a change in setting helped spur his creativity. He said he and his son were planning on eating brunch when they encountered the woman at the hotel on Saturday.

He said the woman had scratched him as he struggled to keep her away from his son during the altercation. He said he worried what would have happened if he had not been there to protect his son.

“I’ve seen people be hurt or even killed for less,” he said.

After the woman tackled his son, he separated the two, but the woman then disappeared, Mr. Harrold said. He has not heard from her, he said.


“She definitely owes my son an apology, for sure,” he said. “I don’t expect that, and if it were to happen, cool. If it doesn’t happen, it’s so much bigger than that. It’s a narrative of what shouldn’t happen in daily life in America, that’s what it is.”

He said he was moving out of the hotel.
 
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bzb1990

3b/3c. henna/cassia.
Hopefully they sue the hotel.
Pardon the ignorance: To sue you have to spend thousands on a lawyer right? And there's no guarantee you win? I'm just wondering bcuz ppl mention suing a lot in North America when things like this occur, but it seems like it's a gamble esp if you're poor... and also trying to put trust in a stranger like a lawyer. It just sounds like jumping into fire when you've already been hurt. Like the black doctor who died and had said she was being mistreated.. someone wrote in a comment in news site that the family should file a lawsuit but is it not like reliving it and putting yourself in front of the other lawyer n getting humiliated too so the other side can make a rebuttal even if it's not true...
 

Belle Du Jour

Well-Known Member
Pardon the ignorance: To sue you have to spend thousands on a lawyer right? And there's no guarantee you win? I'm just wondering bcuz ppl mention suing a lot in North America when things like this occur, but it seems like it's a gamble esp if you're poor... and also trying to put trust in a stranger like a lawyer. It just sounds like jumping into fire when you've already been hurt. Like the black doctor who died and had said she was being mistreated.. someone wrote in a comment in news site that the family should file a lawsuit but is it not like reliving it and putting yourself in front of the other lawyer n getting humiliated too so the other side can make a rebuttal even if it's not true...
Trust me, I'm not a litigious person but this man's rights were violated. He was physically assaulted and the hotel did not act appropriately to protect him. Some attorneys will work without a retainer depending on the nature of the case. Also I believe the boy's father has performed for many famous artists so he probably has the resources to sue.
 

bzb1990

3b/3c. henna/cassia.
Trust me, I'm not a litigious person but this man's rights were violated. He was physically assaulted and the hotel did not act appropriately to protect him. Some attorneys will work without a retainer depending on the nature of the case. Also I believe the boy's father has performed for many famous artists so he probably has the resources to sue.
I'm not saying they were not I was wondering how it is viable for ppl who can't afford it (thinking of my thing not these ppl). I hope they get a good non-evil attorney in that case
 

Belle Du Jour

Well-Known Member
I'm not saying they were not I was wondering how it is viable for ppl who can't afford it (thinking of my thing not these ppl). I hope they get a good non-evil attorney in that case
There are definitely attorneys who do probono work or no retainer up front. And their are some organizations that provider legal services (but I'm not sure how to classify them).
 

LivingInPeace

Well-Known Member
How in the world do you see a child with a phone in a case that you never had and demand that he hand it to you? Even if my phone had just gone missing in the past twenty minutes, it would never occur to me to demand that someone hand over their phone if it was in a case I had never seen before. The level of gall in this behavior is amazing.
 

bzb1990

3b/3c. henna/cassia.
How in the world do you see a child with a phone in a case that you never had and demand that he hand it to you? Even if my phone had just gone missing in the past twenty minutes, it would never occur to me to demand that someone hand over their phone if it was in a case I had never seen before. The level of gall in this behavior is amazing.
Just no shame plus probably applauded for doing things like this by her 'circle' behind closed doors. thanks for explaining (at person above)
 

beloved1bx

Well-Known Member
Pardon the ignorance: To sue you have to spend thousands on a lawyer right? And there's no guarantee you win? I'm just wondering bcuz ppl mention suing a lot in North America when things like this occur, but it seems like it's a gamble esp if you're poor... and also trying to put trust in a stranger like a lawyer. It just sounds like jumping into fire when you've already been hurt. Like the black doctor who died and had said she was being mistreated.. someone wrote in a comment in news site that the family should file a lawsuit but is it not like reliving it and putting yourself in front of the other lawyer n getting humiliated too so the other side can make a rebuttal even if it's not true...
Sometimes lawyers may take work and not require a retainer / payment upfront but in return take a pretty big chunk of whatever settlement you get (could be like 60%).
 

Theresamonet

Well-Known Member
How in the world do you see a child with a phone in a case that you never had and demand that he hand it to you? Even if my phone had just gone missing in the past twenty minutes, it would never occur to me to demand that someone hand over their phone if it was in a case I had never seen before. The level of gall in this behavior is amazing.

I’m sure she figured that he just switched the cases. You know how tricky we are. Always prepared to pull a clever ruse.

All she sees is a natural born thief. Nothing else matters. Even if they’d actually showed her the phone, her mind would have come up with a way he could have quickly turned her phone into his phone.
 

Everything Zen

Well-Known Member
How in the world do you see a child with a phone in a case that you never had and demand that he hand it to you? Even if my phone had just gone missing in the past twenty minutes, it would never occur to me to demand that someone hand over their phone if it was in a case I had never seen before. The level of gall in this behavior is amazing.
Like literally all everyone had to do was have someone call her number and see that it didn’t light up. Case closed.
 

bzb1990

3b/3c. henna/cassia.
I’m sure she figured that he just switched the cases. You know how tricky we are. Always prepared to pull a clever ruse.

All she sees is a natural born thief. Nothing else matters. Even if they’d actually showed her the phone, her mind would have come up with a way he could have quickly turned her phone into his phone.
What sucks is you don't know ppl's mindsets till after the fact.
Is it racist to state that White women can be rather successful at slander since, unless subsequent events indicate otherwise ,or even if so, they are usually believed ??l

To Kill A mockingbird pushed this point across
Eta: passage to india does too. It's a really good book.

We have a racist sounding song in our language about a Kailashi girl;
they offset it by also having a song about a dark skinned Multani girl, but the lyrics of the first translate to this:

'The era of white people
Will never be old (means 'never stop' in this context)
White girl, who do you have to fear?
Your colour is white, your color is white.'

Idk but that lyric angers the heck out of me because it sounds like social commentary disguised as a love song.
Like, nothing bad will happen to you, so you're able to do anything without repurcussions. It reminds me of this and similar incidents.
 

Black Ambrosia

Well-Known Member

NYPD to upgrade charges against woman who falsely accused Keyon Harrold Jr. of phone theft​


The NYPD said Tuesday it plans to upgrade charges it will bring against a woman who falsely accused a 14-year-old black boy of stealing her cellphone, then allegedly attacked him during a disturbing caught-on-camera encounter at a Manhattan hotel.

Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said at a press briefing that the decision for stiffer raps came after authorities obtained footage of the Saturday assault against Keyon Harrold Jr. that has sparked widespread outrage.

“We have a white female, we don’t have her identified yet, or her age, falsely accuse a male black, 14 years of age, for stealing her cellphone,” Harrison said of the confrontation at the Arlo Hotel in Soho. “Our perpetrator initially started a verbal argument of this accusation and then tried to attack our teenager by grabbing for his phone, grabbing his leg and trying to tackle him. Our victim didn’t suffer any injuries. But his father, who he was with, received slight injuries.”


Harrison said the case was initially classified as harassment after police were called to the hotel, but that has since changed. “After we were able to get video, we’re now looking to charge this individual with assault and maybe even look at grand larceny or maybe even attempted robbery,” he said at the 1 Police Plaza press briefing.


The NYPD plans to upgrade charges against a woman who falsely accused a black teen of stealing her phone.

Manhattan prosecutors announced Monday that they were “thoroughly investigating” the allegations.

The boy’s father, prominent jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, captured part of the attack on his cellphone, then posted the footage to Instagram. It wasn’t immediately clear whether this was the same video Harrison was referring to.

The footage shows the agitated woman telling a hotel manager that the teen took her phone before she lunges at him. “Take the case off, that’s mine,” the unidentified woman demands, as the hotel manager is heard trying to get the boy to show them his phone.


Jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold

The video has gone viral, garnering nearly 2.2 million views on Instagram.

Harrison said authorities still hadn’t located the woman. “We are trying to track down our perpetrator at this time,” he said. “We believe that she lives out of state so we’re trying to ascertain if she’s still within the New York City area.”

When asked if there was a racial angle to the case, Harrison said, “We don’t have that at this time.”




On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that the incident was “Racism. Plain and simple” and “an affront to our city’s values.” He also apologized to Harrold’s family. “I am so sorry this happened to you,” he wrote.
 
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