AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
Rev. Al Sharpton is calling for the New York City Police Department to publicly identify and charge the woman who confronted and allegedly assaulted Grammy-winning jazz musician Keyon Harrold and his teenage son at a Manhattan hotel earlier this week.
Speaking to WPIX, Sharpton explained why the 22-year-old unidentified woman, who falsely accused the 14-year old Black teen of stealing her iPhone, deserves to be arrested. "There is clearly no reason to treat her any differently... then any number of Blacks that are accused of a crime, or others in this city,” he said.
On Dec. 26, Harrold, a prominent jazz trumpeter, posted a video detailing the confrontation between his son and the women which took place at New York’s Arlo Soho hotel on Saturday, Dec. 26.
In its caption, Harrold explained what happened. “This person quote on quote ‘lost’ her iPhone, and apparently, my son magically acquired it, which [is] merely ridiculous,” he wrote. “This incident went on for five more minutes, me protecting my son from this lunatic. She scratched me; she tackled and grabbed him.”
Harrold explained that the woman wasn’t even currently staying at the hotel and had already checked out three days prior to the incident. Additionally, an Uber driver returned her lost iPhone after the public confrontation that went viral.
“Now think about the trauma that my son now has to carry, only coming downstairs to have box day brunch with his dad,” Harrold wrote. “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.”
When speaking to WPIX, Sharpton detailed why this story has hit a nerve with so many people.
"When we see this young man, that could have been any of our kids, and any of the circumstances could have led to something that would have been physically damming and legally damaging," he said.
The NYPD has identified the woman in connection with the confrontation now labeled #SohoKaren but have not released her name. The unidentified woman has also conducted a 20-minute telephone interview with CNN, who has also chosen to keep her anonymous. The news outlet reports that the woman claims she was assaulted instead.
Chief of Detectives for the New York Police Department Rodney Harrison said on Tuesday (Dec.29) that after reviewing the surveillance tape of the confrontation they are indeed considering charging the woman with assault and possibly grand larceny or attempted robbery, but not with a bias crime.
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