Jazz Musician Keyon Harrold Sues "SoHo Karen" over Racial Profiling Attack

Jazz Musician Keyon Harrold Sues 'SoHo Karen' over Racial Profiling Attack
Photo: Keyon Harrold
Jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold and his 15-year-old son have filed a lawsuit against Miya Ponsetto — a woman dubbed "SoHo Karen" for falsely accusing the Black teen of stealing her phone.

In the suit, the family have also named Manhattan's Arlo Hotel, where Keyon Harrold Jr. was seen being assaulted on camera in the highly publicized attack. The Harrolds are calling it a case of racial profiling. 

In December 2020, the 22-year-old Ponsetto was caught aggressively trying to tackle the teenager in the New York City hotel lobby while staff stood by. Harrold's suit alleges the hotel "treated plaintiffs differently from other guests and invitees in a place of public accommodation because of their race."

The pair are represented by civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who announced the suit in a press conference earlier today.

An early press release reads: "In December 2020, Keyon Harrold and his son were racially profiled in an Arlo hotel in Manhattan by Miya Ponsetto, falsely accusing Keyon Harrold Jr. of stealing her phone and physically attacking him. The father and son were staying at the hotel and did not receive support from management."

The incident has left Harrold Jr. feeling "humiliation, embarrassment, emotional distress," as well as "feelings of racial stigmatization [and] an increased sense of vulnerability," court papers read.

The family is seeking unspecified damages. 

Earlier this year, Ponsetto appeared in an interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning to defend herself, but showed little remorse for her actions. See a clip of that interview below, as well as Harrold's announcement and footage from today's press conference at City Hall Park in Manhattan.


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