Bryant said in the video that the woman had been watching him in the store. “She runs up to me and says, ‘Excuse me, you have my son’s phone?’ I pull my phone out, and tell her I do not,” Bryant said. “(…” The reason I’m not leaving is because I don’t have the phone. That’s why I’m not leaving.”
She followed Bryant outside, involved police, and demanded he stay at the store until they came. “I’m definitely pressing charges,” Bryant said on the video. “This is racial profiling. You guys see it on camera yourself.”
The woman had apparently tracked the phone to the parking lot, and surely enough, the child returned from the lot with it. “Her son found it in the car,” Bryant said. “Now I’m gonna press charges. May I have your name ma’am, please?”
“No. You go f–k yourself,”the woman responded in front of her son.
She is believed to work for Kaiser Permanente, and soon after the video went viral, the company issued a statement responding to someone who had posted the video. “Thank you for sharing this,” the company said in the tweet on Wednesday. “This video has been brought to our attention and we are actively investigating it. The conduct in this video does not in any way reflect the views or beliefs of Kaiser Permanente.”
Miya Ponsetto, the last woman who went viral after wrongfully accusing a Black person of stealing her phone, is now facing hate crime charges after video showed her attacking the then-14-year-old son of Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Keyon Harrold on Dec. 26, 2020 at the Arlo SoHo hotel in New York. Her next court date is set for set for Oct. 20.
Harrold’s Instagram post at the time:
“I hate I have to post this!!! I am furious!!! We see this crap happening all the time, but it hits different when it hits home!!! I typically try to keep things positive, but nothing about this video is positive. The lady in this video assaulted my 14-year-old son and me as we came down from our room in the @arlohotels Arlo Soho to get breakfast. This person quote on quote “lost” her iPhone, and apparently, my son magically acquired it, which merely ridiculous. 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. This lady is not even a guest at the hotel. 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!!! He didn’t even consider the fact we were actually the guests! Now think about the trauma that my son now has to carry, only coming downstairs to have box day brunch with his dad. Then… her phone was magically returned by an Uber driver a few minutes after this incident. No apology from her after this traumatic situation to my son, not me. No apologies from the establishment. This s–t happens so often. It needs to stop!!! If anyone recognizes this person, please tag or DM.”
After the incident, Ponsetto, who has had her fair share of run-ins with the law, went on to dismiss journalist Gayle King in an interview back in January. “I’m a 22-year-old girl. How is one girl accusing a guy about a phone a crime?” Ponsetto asked during the interview. King pushed back. “You have to at least understand your actions that day,” she said. “You seem to have attacked this teenager about the phone. And then it turned out he didn’t even have your phone. That’s the thing. You’re 22 years old, but you’re old enough to know better.” That’s when Ponsetto, seated next to her attorney, extended her hand forward and said, “Enough.”
Enough, indeed. I look forward to seeing her before a judge again and hope the Walmart accuser is held accountable for her very dangerous accusation, as well.