Keyon Harrold Jr., the Black teenager who was falsely accused of stealing a white woman’s iPhone, is now seeking therapy after the traumatic incident. According to TMZ, Keyon Jr.’s father — Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Keyon Harrold — and his ex-wife are currently vetting therapists who can help their son heal in the aftermath of the viral attack.
“I have tried to instill dignity in my son,” Keyon told the outlet. “I’m trying to build his ego, because for so long egos of Black men have been shattered.”
However, since the incident, Keyon says his son has suffered from self-doubt and uncertainty and asks himself the question: “Why me?”
Furthermore, Keyon Jr. has also developed a fear about staying at hotels, which is where the attack occurred. This has become even more difficult, since both of the teenager’s parents are traveling musicians.
“He wonders if he’s good enough to own an iPhone, or whether he’s out of place at a nice hotel,” Keyon explained.
The 14-year-old has also suffered from other trauma-related fears, like worrying about being tackled from behind or being falsely accused of a crime. The day of the incident, Keyon Jr. told his dad that the woman made him feel like a criminal.
Keyon has done his best to reassure his son by telling him, “You definitely belong everywhere you go.” However, he told TMZ, he feels like professional help is the best way for Keyon Jr. to truly heal.
As reported by REVOLT, Miya Ponsetto has been identified as the white woman from the incident, which was recorded and quickly went viral on social media. In the clip, Ponsetto accused Keyon Jr. of stealing her iPhone, which she had actually left behind in an Uber. While confronting the teen, Ponsetto chased Keyon Jr. down and tackled him to the floor.
After the incident, Keyon connected with Civil Rights lawyer Ben Crump. New York prosecutors have also opened an investigation into the attack and numerous petitions have been launched calling for the woman’s arrest.