The woman who falsely accused a 14-year-old black boy of swiping her cellphone should be hit with criminal charges for attacking him at a Manhattan hotel, his parents said Monday.
Keyon Harrold Jr.’s parents called for the unidentified woman to be investigated for assaulting him Sunday in a caught-on-camera confrontation at the Arlo Hotel in SoHo.
“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,” the family’s attorney, Ben Crump, said in a statement.
Footage posted by the teen’s father, New York-based trumpeter Keyon Harrold, showed the woman frantically telling a manager that the teen had her cellphone.
The musician wrote that the woman tackled and grabbed the teen before her cellphone was returned to her by an Uber driver.
The family’s lawyer on Monday called it “troubling” that the young boy was also “treated like a criminal” by the hotel.
“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,” Crump said.
“We also call for a civil rights investigation into the Arlo Hotel for its implicit bias in its treatment of Keyon,” he added.
The boutique hotel on Monday issued an apology saying that the incident was “inexcusable.”
“In investigating the incident further, we’ve learned that the manager on duty promptly called the police regarding the woman’s conduct and that hotel security intervened to prevent further violence; still, more could have been done to deescalate the dispute,” the hotel wrote on Instagram.
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