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The teen is the son of trumpet player Keyon Harrold, who captured the incident of the woman on video; The lost phone was later returned by an Uber driver
On Saturday, a white woman frantically accused a Black teen of stealing her iPhone at a New York City hotel, only to discover moments later that it was left behind in an Uber.
The teen is the son of Grammy-award winning trumpet player Keyon Harrold, who captured the incident of the woman apparently lunging at him and his son on video.
In the video, posted on Harrold’s Instagram page, the unidentified woman is seen telling the hotel manager that the 14-year-old had taken her phone. As the teenager said, “this is my phone,” Harrold intervened, telling him: “You don’t have to explain nothing to her.”
As she continued to frantically insist that it’s her phone and asked for it to be proven that it’s not, Harrold replied: “Are you kidding me? You feel like there’s only one iPhone in the world?”
Harrold, a frequent collaborator with D’Angelo, Robert Glasper, Common and Maxwell, wrote that he and his son were departing the Arlo Soho Hotel in Manhattan for breakfast when the woman appeared to say she “lost” her iPhone, accusing his son of having it, which Harrold said was “merely ridiculous.”
The manager of the hotel asked to see the wallpaper on the teen’s phone, to which Harrold responded: “No! This is my son!”
According to Harrold, the woman had stayed in the hotel, but checked out on Dec. 23. While the video was only one minute, Harrold said in the post that the incident lasted for over five minutes.
“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 a random lady,” Harrold posted. “He actually empowered her!!! He didn’t even consider the fact that we were actually the guests.”
In the video, she can be seen continuously reaching towards Harrold as he was shielding his son from her. “She scratched me,” Harrold wrote, “she Tackled and grabbed him. He is a child!!!”
Harrold posted that her iPhone was finally found when an Uber driver came to return the phone to the woman soon after the incident ended.
“No apology from her after this traumatic situation to my son, not me,” Harrold stated. “No apologies from the establishment. This s— happens too often. It needs to stop!!!”
After the video went viral, the Arlo Hotel issued a statement on Sunday condemning the woman’s actions and said they issued a personal apology to the Harrold family.
“We’re deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice, and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo Hotel,” the statement read.
“In investigating the incident further, we’ve learned that the manager on duty promptly called the police regarding the woman’s conduct and that hotel security intervened to prevent further violence; still, more could have been done to deescalate the dispute.
The company added, “No Arlo guest — or any person — should be subject to this kind of behavior. We want to apologize to Mr. Harrold and his son for this inexcusable experience, and have reached out to them directly to express our sincere regret and to offer help in dealing with this traumatic event. We are committed to making sure this never happens again at any of our hotels.”
Harrold, who won a Grammy in 2017 for his musical contributions to Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis biopic, Miles Ahead, has also used his music to address such prejudicial incidents throughout his career. A native of Ferguson, Missouri, he composed the song “MB Lament” on his most recent solo effort, The Mugician, as a musical commentary on the Michael Brown shooting.
He was a featured player during Common’s 2016 NPR Tiny Desk performance at the White House, as they performed the rapper’s Emmy-winning theme of Ava Duvernay‘s documentary 13th, “Letter to the Free.”
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