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Ben Crump demands charges for white woman who attacked Black teen over iPhone

“We strongly urge Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. to bring assault and battery charges against this woman to send the message that hateful, racially motivated behavior is unacceptable,” he said.

Ben Crump and woman who attacked Black teen in hotel Left: Getty Images Right: Instagram video // @keyonharrold

Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump is calling on Manhattan’s district attorney to press charges against the white woman who violently attacked a Black teen as he was in the hotel lobby with his father.

As REVOLT reported earlier Monday (Dec. 28), a white woman attacked Keyon Harrold Jr., the son of Grammy award-winning trumpet player Keyon Harrold, and accused him of stealing her iPhone. The Harrolds were guests at the Arlo SoHo on Saturday (Dec. 26) and were getting breakfast in the lobby when the woman became deranged.

Harrold Sr. posted a video of the viral confrontation on Instagram. “I am furious!!!” he penned the caption to his Instagram video. “We see this crap happening all the time, but it hits different when it hits home!!! I typically try to keep things positive, but nothing about this video is positive.”

The unidentified woman reportedly tackled the teen to the ground and searched his pockets. She claimed the teen had stolen her phone and used his own case to disguise it. To make matters worse, a hotel worker used his “managerial authority” to demand that the teen show his phone to the lady.

The woman's phone was later returned to her by an Uber driver, who found the cellphone in his car. The Arlo SoHo later issued an apology to the Harrolds for the “inexcusable experience” and said “more could have been done to de-escalate the dispute,” but Attorney Crump wants the woman charged with battery and assault and the hotel investigated for its role in the incident.

“As this year of racial awareness is drawing to a close, it’s deeply troubling that incidents like this one, in which a Black child is viewed as and treated like a criminal, continue to happen,” he said in a statement.

He continued, “Compounding the injustice, the hotel manager defaulted to calling on 14-year-old Keyon to prove his innocence, documenting that we have two justice systems in America and that Black people are treated as guilty until proven innocent. We strongly urge Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. to bring assault and battery charges against this woman to send the message that hateful, racially motivated behavior is unacceptable. This is what it will take to drive change. We also call for a civil rights investigation into the Arlo Hotel for its implicit bias in its treatment of Keyon.”

Check out the video of the incident below.

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