By Enjoli Francis Bill Hutchinson
With tears streaming down his cheeks, a 9-year-old black child spoke out at a community meeting in New York about being wrongly accused of grabbing a white woman’s backside in a corner store — an incident disproved by security-camera footage.
With his mother standing beside him, Jeremiah Harvey delivered a simple message at the community meeting: “Friendship is really the key.”
Jeremiah’s emotional response came six days after Teresa Klein called the police and claimed the boy had grabbed her butt in a Brooklyn corner store Wednesday.
Klein issued an apology after viewing surveillance video of Jeremiah’s backpack brushing her backside as he passed her in the store. The video clearly shows Jeremiah’s hands were in front of him as he passed her.
Shortly after the encounter, a witness took a cell phone video of Klein apparently on the phone with a 911 operator, claiming the child groped her.
“That’s right. Her son grabbed my a–,” Klein could be heard saying on her phone. “And, she [the mother] decided to yell at me. There are security cameras in this bodega.”
The video shows Klein pleading for police to be sent to the store immediately, prompting terrified cries from the young Jeremiah and his little sister as they held onto their mother, Someko Bellille.