They're calling her “So-Ho Karen’ - the woman who falsely accused a jazz musician’s 14-year-old son of stealing her cellphone. The video posted by Keyon Harrold (a known New York based trumpet player) has gone viral, and shows Miya Ponsetto lunging at the 14-year old boy.
New reports claim that Harrold and his ex-wife are now vetting therapists, as Keyon Jr. is in immediate need of trauma therapy. Harrold claims that the incident with Miya Ponsetto has left the 14-year old boy traumatized, and asking “why me?” - A question that many Black fathers have to have a very difficult conversation with their sons to explain.
When Harrold was telling his son the stories of Emmit Till, Michael Brown, and George Floyd - neither of them had any idea that something like this would happen to them. “I am furious!!! We see this crap happening all the time, but it hits different when it hits home!!!,” Harrold said in the post that accompanied the incident at the Arlo Hotel.
Harrold says he is taking things one step at a time. Harrold always tried to speak pride into his son's life, as he knew the difficulties young black men face in this country have often taken a toll on their self image. He says, “I have tried to instill dignity in my son. I'm trying to build his ego, because for so long egos of Black men have been shattered."
Harrold feels that he needs to expedite the process in getting his son professional help, because those feelings of inferiority are beginning to creep into his psyche. “He wonders if he's good enough to own an iPhone, or whether he's out of place at a nice hotel." Something that dad feels needs to be taken care of right away.
The viral incident has left Keyon’s son traumatized by staying in hotels, expressing to his father that he fears someone will “come from behind and tackle him” or accuse him of another crime. This is a significant issue, as both of his parents are musicians who travel often, so staying in hotels is a part of their regular routine. Perhaps the most heartbreaking revelation was Keyon Jr. telling his dad that he felt like a criminal following the incident.
Harrold is actively doing the work to remind his son that “he belongs everywhere he goes” and that the color of his skin does not make him less than, or a threat to anyone.
As for Ponsetto, she is back in California - and civil rights activists in Los Angeles are calling for her arrest. Protests marched outside the LAPD’s North Hollywood Police Station on Saturday.
Back in New York where the situation took place, it seems as if charges may be on the way. The NYPD have signaled that charges will be brought against Ponsetto, and mayor Bill De Blasio has commented that it was an act of “plain and simple” racism.