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Security Footage Shows “SoHo Karen” Attacking Teen, But Now She Claims She Was The One Assaulted

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keyonharrold/Instagram

The woman who falsely accused a Black teenager of stealing her iPhone in a video that has gone viral and brought about demands for her arrest has finally spoken out about the matter, though her account seems to clarify nothing at all.

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Trumpeter Keyon Harrold and his 14-year-old son, Keyon Jr., were staying at the Arlo Hotel in SoHo, New York, when the woman accused the teen of taking her iPhone simply because she could see he had one of his own. Harrold recorded as the woman’s behavior grew more and more erratic, and the video ultimately ended with her appearing to run into him, fall down, and run at him again. Police were called to deal with the woman, and her phone was eventually recovered by an Uber driver.

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The incident ultimately sparked accusations of racism, as there seemed to be no reason for the woman to target Keyon Jr. as the thief, and Harrold said he and his son were the only Black people in the hotel lobby at the time.

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“You have a teenager here who did nothing wrong, who was clearly profiled because he was young and male and Black,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN.

While the woman’s identity has yet to be made public, she broke her silence and spoke with CNN on Tuesday over the phone. The news organization called the interview “rambling at times” and said they were unable to confirm the information she gave regarding the incident itself, events leading up to it, and things she brought up that were entirely unrelated.

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She did, however, “defend” herself by saying she initially requested to see security footage from the hotel lobby and demanded someone else in the lobby “empty their pockets.”

The woman also said she was assaulted first, though it’s unclear whether she was accusing Harrold, his son, or someone else present during the altercation of assaulting her.

CNN noted that she offered to provide proof of the assault and then stopped responding to their follow-up messages.

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“That’s not who I am,” she said of the entire incident and the accusations of racism that are now surrounding her.

The security footage, however, suggests a different story.

In that video, Harrold and his son appear to be walking away from the woman when she tackles Keyon Jr, potentially trying to grab his phone, and eventually pulls them both to the ground. While it’s only a short clip and doesn’t show the before or after, it’s also a clear indication that she escalated the situation that she had both initiated and exacerbated, per Harrold’s initial recording.

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The footage, shared by Harrold’s attorney Ben Crump, also suggests that the NYPD still haven’t determined the woman’s identity, and are seeking tips from anyone who might recognize her. When speaking to CNN, she claimed that she would be happy to cooperate but “hasn’t received a call from the NYPD yet nor has she reached out herself.”

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“The investigation is still preliminary, a lot of work needs to be done,” said NYPD chief of detectives Rodney Harrison. “The complainants are cooperating and I’m confident that the investigators from the precinct will make an arrest on this case sooner than later.”