The New York Police Department (NYPD) has identified the woman who violently attacked and falsely accused a Black teen of stealing her iPhone. According to Gothamist, Sophia Mason, an NYPD spokesperson, told the outlet that the woman ”has been positively identified and detectives are endeavoring to locate her.” The department has declined to release the woman’s name to the public.
Grammy award-winning trumpet player Keyon Harrold uploaded a video of the violent attack towards his son to Instagram. As Harrold and his son, Keyon Harrold Jr., were waiting in the Arlo SoHo hotel lobby for breakfast, a woman accused the teen of stealing her iPhone and said he used his case to disguise it as his own.
“I am furious!!!” Harrold Sr. captioned 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 woman attacked the teen and tried to search his pockets for her phone. 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 iPhone was later returned to her by an Uber driver, who found the cellphone in his car.
Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump called for the woman to be charged with battery and assault. “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,” he said in a statement.
He continued, “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.”