The latest example of blatant racism has arisen from a viral video showing the son of a prominent jazz musician being harassed by a woman for allegedly stealing her phone.
Keyon Harrold, a Grammy-winning jazz musician who has played with artists like Jay-Z, Beyoncé, was at the Arlo SoHo hotel in New York City with his 14-year-old son when she began accusing the teenager of stealing her phone. What happened next was caught on camera by Harrold.
"This person quote on quote 'lost' her iPhone, and apparently, my son magically acquired it, which [is] merely ridiculous," he wrote in the video's caption. "This incident went on for five more minutes, me protecting my son from this lunatic. She scratched me; she Tackled and grabbed him. He is a child!!! Now watch it again."
Harrold also talked about how the hotel manager was complicit in this racial profiling. "This lady is not even a guest at the hotel," he wrote. "She checked out of the hotel on the 23rd of December; today is the 26th. 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 this random lady. He actually empowered her!!!"
After explaining that the manager didn't even consider him or his son guests, Harrold revealed that the woman eventually found her lost phone — after an Uber driver returned it a few minutes later. Even so, there was no apology from the woman or the hotel, making it a stark reminder of what people of color go through on a daily basis that often isn't recorded.
"This shit happens so often. It needs to stop!!!" Harrold wrote.
In a statement posted on Arlo Hotels' Instagram account, the establishment said that it was "deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo hotel." It also acknowledged that "more could have been done to de-escalate the dispute."
The event is currently is being investigated by the New York Police Department.