Advocates for the black teen who was falsely accused of stealing a white woman’s cell phone at a Manhattan hotel said Wednesday that they planned to meet with prosecutors and demand she be called before a grand jury.
The Rev. Al Sharpton cited a CNN report that said the unidentified woman disputed official accounts of the incident involving the son of jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold and claimed she was willing to cooperate with authorities.
“If she says she was assaulted, put her in the grand jury, where she will face perjury charges,” Sharpton said.
“Put her in the grand jury and let her put her hand on the Bible and take an oath.”
During a news conference in Manhattan’s City Hall Park, Sharpton noted the pending case against Amy Cooper, the “Central Park Karen” charged with falsely accusing a black birdwatcher of threatening and trying to assault her.
“Racial profiling is a crime in New York,” he said.
Also during the news conference, Harrold family lawyer Ben Crump said Sharpton had arranged a meeting for them with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office later Wednesday.
Harrold — who shot a one-minute video of the Saturday confrontation at the Arlo Hotel in Soho — accused the hotel’s manager of automatically siding with the woman against his 14-year-old son, son, Keyon Harrold Jr.
“My son was proven guilty before Chad took the time to ask,” he said, using a nickname for a stereotypical young white man.
“You’re doing a job. You’re supposed to be doing a service. That’s where Chad failed.”
Harrold — who at one point played a solo trumpet medley of “This Land is Your Land,” “America the Beautiful” and “We Shall Overcome” — also said his son wasn’t the only person who was accused of stealing the woman’s phone.
Harrold said that when he and Keyon Jr. got off an elevator to go for brunch, “they had somebody they were shaking down” but that the woman “saw my son and it was like red in front of a bull.”
Crump said the other person was “apparently another minority man” and suggested the hotel was “complicit” in the incident involving Keyon Jr.
“Maybe we need the New York attorney general to start a civil rights investigation,” he said.
On Tuesday, NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said cops had reclassified their investigation of the woman, which was initially being treated as a case of mere harassment.
“After we were able to get video, we’re now looking to charge this individual with assault and maybe even look at grand larceny or maybe even attempted robbery,” Harrison said.
Harrison said that although Keyon Jr. wasn’t hurt when the woman “tried to attack” him,” the elder Harrold “received slight injuries” when he intervened.
The Arlo Hotel chain didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.
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