Famous jazz musicians speak out after attack on son falsely accused of stealing iPhone
NEW YORK (Nation Now) – Famous jazz musicians Keyon Harrold and Kat Rodriguez prepare to sue after claiming their 14-year-old son Keyon Harrold Jr. was attacked by a woman at the Arlo Hotel SoHo in New York City.
The parents hired civil rights lawyer Ben Crump to handle their case. Recently they launched a online petition urging the Manhattan district attorney to press charges against the woman seen in the video approaching their son. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were over 42,000 signatures.
“If he had been alone, it would have ended in a totally different way. There are mothers who have not seen their children come back, ”said Kat Rodriguez. “The fact that the hotel did not defuse the situation before she got hold of my son also makes them responsible. “
The incident happened on Boxing Day at the Arlo Hotel SoHo in New York City. Keyon Harrold and Kat Rodriguez posted a widely viewed video of the showdown on Saturday. He said the unidentified woman scratched and tackled him and grabbed their son, Keyon Harrold Jr., at the Lower Manhattan hotel. At the time, the father and the son were staying there.
In the video, you can hear the woman accusing the teenager of stealing her iPhone.
“My son and I were at the Arlo Hotel, we were in our room. We decided to go downstairs for brunch on Boxing Day. As soon as we entered the lobby we were literally berated like criminals who literally stole something, ”said Keyon Harrold.
A source close to the hotel confirmed to NewsNation that the woman was a guest at Arlo, but left on December 23. According to the source, hotel staff were unsure why the woman returned to the hotel on December 26. The source said the hotel provided New York Police with the identity of the woman.
The video shows an angry woman demands that her phone be returned as a hotel manager tries to resolve the situation. At one point, the woman seems to rush over and say, “I’m not letting him go with my phone! You can see her rushing towards Harrold and she seems to touch him.
“The lady came to my son’s house. She came towards me so aggressively. Basically, saying my son stole his phone. I don’t even know how it happened. But she blamed my son. She treated him like… she treated him with no respect. And the hotel manager was in tandem with her. They didn’t give any sort of due process, ”Harrold said.
Harrold said the woman’s phone was returned by an Uber driver shortly after. But he said the hotel managers had not handled the situation properly. Harold and his wife say their son is traumatized by the incident.
“He’s 14 years old. He’s trying to deal with this as best he can and he’s going to start therapy this week, because I don’t want it to be anything negative later on,” Rodriguez said. “Because he has a good character. He’s a handsome young man.
The hotel has published the following declaration:
The confrontation drew comparisons to recent incidents involving false accusations against blacks and racial profiling.
“We know that if the tables were turned and Mr Harrold, a black adult, went after a white teenager and wrongly accused them of taking his cell phone, he would be charged with assault and battery,” he said. said civil rights lawyer Ben Crump.
Crump is in the process of asking Arlo Hotel Soho to keep all footage of the incident.
“There are more important societal implications here. If you’re not a person of color and you’ve never experienced this kind of racial profiling, you won’t really understand it, ”Crump said. “But there are thousands of black men in prisons in America today because they have been falsely accused. And that is why this is such an important learning moment for America.
Crump and the Harrold family also called for a civil rights investigation of the Arlo Hotel “for its implicit bias” in its treatment of the teenager.
New York Police have not identified the woman. A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said the office was “investigating this incident fully” but had nothing further to comment.
Keyon Harrold is a widely acclaimed musician who performs with artists including Beyoncé, Rihanna and Eminem, Snoop Dog, Common, Jay Z, Maxwell and Anthony Hamilton, according to his website.
Harrold played the trumpet in Don cheadlethe biopic of Miles Davis Miles ahead. The film’s soundtrack won a Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media. Kat rodriguez is best known for having played saxophone with Beyoncé for a decade. Rodriguez said that without their fame, the story would never have received the attention it deserves.
“But what about this woman who is a teacher, housekeeper or janitor or who does not have access to the people we have access to, their child would have to face this trauma for the rest of his life,” said Rodriguez. “We need to change what’s going on in this world. I know it won’t happen with one person because look at all the lives that have been lost this year and it has not happened.
No charges have been laid to date in this case. As of Tuesday afternoon, the woman had still not been identified.
It’s a developing story, NewsNation is in touch with New York City Police and the Manhattan District Attorney for the latest news on this case.