POLICE and the district attorney’s office in New York City are investigating a confrontation in which a white woman accused a black teen of stealing her iPhone in the lobby of an upscale hotel.
The New York Police Department is probing a harassment complaint from the incident on Saturday afternoon inside the Arlo Hotel in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, a spokesperson for the agency told New York Magazine on Monday.
Jazz musician Keyon Harrold recorded a video that he posted on Instagram, of an unidentified young woman accusing his 14-year-old son of stealing her phone.
The woman is captured screaming at Harrold’s son and demanding that the hotel manager take the teen's phone away from him.
“Take the case off that’s mine, literally get it back,” the woman tells the manager.
Harrold replies: “You think there’s only one iPhone made in the world?”
As Harrold and his son seemed to try to walk away, the woman allegedly lunged at them and after a scuffle, she is seen on the ground.
“No, please get my phone back,” the woman pleads to the manager, who helps her up.
Harrold wrote on Instagram on Sunday that the hotel informed him that an Uber driver dropped off the woman’s phone shortly after the confrontation.
“No apology from her after this traumatic situation to my son, not me. No apologies from the establishment,” Harrold said.
“This s*** happens so often. It needs to stop!!!”
Harrold's video went viral over the weekend and the woman is being called a “Karen,” the name given to a white woman who accused of using racial privilege over others.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office told New York Magazine that it is also investigating the incident.
Harrold’s attorney, Ben Crump, tweeted that they want the district attorney’s office to press assault and battery charges on the woman who “falsely accused” the teenager of stealing her phone.
“Join us in sending a clear message that hateful, racially motivated behavior is unacceptable,” Crump wrote.
“Email Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr. and urge him to charge the woman who attacked Keyon Harrold Jr.”
Instagram user Cassandra Medina, who posted a photo at the hotel six days ago, denies being the “Karen” in Harrold’s video.
“I’ve been tagged all morning in this video and this is not me,” Medina wrote on Instagram on Sunday.
“It’s not OK to be falsely accused on social media and I wouldn’t want that happening to anyone.”
Harrold is a Grammy Award-winning trumpet player who has played with artists including Beyoncé, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z.
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