On Saturday afternoon, a prominent jazz musician, Keon Harold, and his 14-year-old son entered the lobby of Arlo, a boutique hotel in Soho, where they were staying, when they were accused by a woman they had never met before.
He falsely accused the woman of taking his cell phone and demanded that he return it. Tensions escalated, and the woman insisted that the young man hold the phone, screaming at him and eventually manipulating him, trying to look into his pockets before they parted. Said Harold.
Mr. black. Harold captured parts of the controversy in a cellphone video that was widely shared on social media this weekend, another example of the false allegations against black people. It attracted comparisons An incident in May When a black bird watcher in Central Park called a white woman named 911 to lie that her life was in danger.
Mr. Harold said in an interview on Sunday that the Soho episode “shell-shocked” him.
Although he said he did not know the woman’s race, he said he believed he and his son, Gion Harold Jr., may have been racially motivated.
“I wonder what would happen if it was different, if it was a black woman, if it was a 14-year-old white man,” she said.
Mr. In Harold’s video, you can see the hotel manager identifying himself and asking his son to make a cell phone, which is an attempt to verify the woman’s claim. But the manager said there was no reason to trust the woman. Said Harold.
“They thought he was guilty,” he said. Said Harold. “Management did not question her as to why she would even think he had the phone.”
The woman has not been publicly identified. Both the police and the hotel declined to share a name, Mr. Harold said he did not know who he was or how to contact her.
He had been a guest at the hotel earlier in the week, Mr. Harold said the hotel had told him.
Hotel Mr. Harold was told by an Uber driver that he had found his phone, and she picked it up from the hotel. Said Harold.
The hotel did not respond to questions about the woman Sunday. Arlo, which has two hotels in the city, advertises its soho location as a trendy location with a rooftop bar and Hudson River views. The hotel says on its website that heated rooms in its courtyard can “take guests into the country without leaving the city”.
In a statement, Hotel Mr. Apologized to Harold and his son. Although the hotel said the manager had called police to report the incident and that hotel security had stepped in, “many more could have been done to escalate the controversy.”
“We are deeply disturbed by the recent unsubstantiated allegations of misconduct, prejudice and assault against an innocent guest at the Arlo Hotel,” the hotel said, adding that it was determined to ensure that this would never happen again at any of our hotels. ”
Police confirmed they received a report of an incident at the hotel on Saturday and said they were investigating.
The episode at the hotel was widely circulated, catching on to racist treatment video for black people, following several recent events, Including the Central Park incident in May, Which occurred after a black bird-watcher told a white woman to stab her dog.
Mo., Mr. of Ferguson. Harold moved to New York City and began playing jazz professionally at the age of 19. He also appeared on the soundtrack to the Jazz autobiography of Miles Davis, “Miles Ahead.” Won a Grammy Award In 2017.
Mr. Harold said he has been staying at the Arlo Hotel since mid-December. He lives in Queens, Long Island, but said the change in organization helped stimulate his creativity. When he met the woman at the hotel on Saturday, he said he and his son were planning to eat brunch.
He said the woman scratched him because he struggled to stay away from his son during the argument. He said he was worried about what would have happened if he had not been there to protect his son.
“I have seen people get hurt or less killed,” he said.
After the woman handled her son, he separated the two, but the woman disappeared, and Mr. Said Harold. He did not ask her, he said.
“He should definitely apologize to my son, of course,” he said. “I’m not expecting it, if it happens, it’s cold. If it does not happen, it’s much bigger than that.
He said he was moving out of the hotel.