AceShowbiz - Jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold and his family have become the victims of racial profiling. Making use of his Instagram account, the 40-year-old musician shared his story of dealing with the unpleasant situation.
He posted on Saturday, December 26 a video he took to film a woman who falsely accused his 14-year-old son Keyon Harrold Jr. of stealing her phone. In the video, the woman insisted that the teen took her "lost" iPhone and demanded that the boy show the phone to prove it.
"Take the case off. That's mine. Literally, get it back," the woman said. "Are you kidding me? You think there's only one iPhone made in the world?" Keyon told the woman, defending his son. Finding it "disrespectful," the Grammy Award-winning musician told his son that he didn't need to explain himself to this random woman.
A hotel manager, trying to dissolve the situation, asked the teen to show his phone, but Keyon felt that he didn't help. The woman was then seen trying to grab Keyon as they were trying to leave.
In the caption, Keyon admitted he was "furious" over the incident. He claimed, "The lady in this video assaulted my 14-year-old son and me as we came down from our room in the @arlohotels Arlo Soho to get breakfast."
"This person quote on quote 'lost' her iPhone, and apparently, my son magically acquired it," he sarcastically wrote, "which merely ridiculous. This incident went on for five more minutes, me protecting my son from this lunatic. She scratched me; she Tackled and grabbed him. He is a child!!!"
Not pleased with how the hotel managed tried to handle the situation, he went on detailing, "Now watch as the manager advocates for the lady who is not even a hotel guest, insisting and attempting to use his managerial authority to force my son to show his phone to this random lady. He actually empowered her!!! He didn't even consider the fact we were actually the guests!"
Claiming that the incident may have inflicted "trauma" on his son, he said that later the woman's phone "was magically returned by an Uber driver a few minutes after this incident." He said that he received "no apology" both from the woman and the establishment immediately afterward, lamenting, "This s**t happens so often. It needs to stop!!!"
Speaking to The New York Times, Keyon said, "I wonder what would happen if it were different, if it were a black woman and there was a white 14-year-old. They assumed he was guilty. The management didn't even question her as to why she would even think he had the phone."
After the video went viral, it prompted accusations of racial profiling toward Keyon Jr. and his family. Civil Rights attorney Ben Crump is calling for Manhattan DA Cy Vance to file charges against the woman in the video.
"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," he said in a statement. "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."
Responding to the controversy, the hotel apologized to the Harrold family in a statement. "We're deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice, and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo hotel," they stated.