A 9-year-old black boy said he would not forgive the white woman who called 911 and falsely accused him of grabbing her backside at a corner store last Wednesday in New York City, WABC-TV reported.
“I don’t forgive this woman, and she needs help,” Jeremiah Harvey told the news station following a community meeting on Monday organized by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
Adams organized the meeting after a video of Teresa Klein went viral. The white woman accused the child of groping her and called the police.
“That’s right. Her son grabbed my a–,” Klein can be heard saying to the 911 operator in the video posted on Facebook. “And, she [the mother] decided to yell at me. There are security cameras in this bodega.”
Jeremiah cried while customers and his mother tried to address the situation.
“‘Corner store Caroline,’ that’s what that is,” someone said in the video. “Don’t cry, little man.”
Klein told WABC that she called the police because Jeremiah’s mother had gotten aggressive with her.
Two days later, Klein returned to the store where she watched the video and discovered that her accusations against Jeremiah were false.
The child’s backpack had brushed up against her backside and his hands can be seen in front of him as he walks past the woman.
“Young man, I don’t know your name, but I’m sorry,” Klein said.
Her apology came too late to stop the outrage from Facebook users who have viewed the video more than 8 million times since it was uploaded by Jason Littlejohn.
“We’re definitely going to make a movement out here,” Littlejohn said in his Facebook post on Sunday, according to WABC. “We’re going to stop people — I will say, people — from dialing 911 unnecessarily. … It’s gotta stop, people. … We will not let this continue to happen.”
At the community meeting, Jeremiah shared a simple but powerful message to his neighbors.
“Friendship is really the key,” he said.