With his face drenched in tears and mom at his side, the 9-year-old boy spoke honestly into the mic. Speaking to his Flatbush community, he addressed being wrongfully accused of groping a white woman’s butt at a local corner store.
Security camera footage from inside the store would eventually clear Jeremiah Harvey’s name, but the emotional impact on the child was visible. Mom stood over his left shoulder with a smile. Assuring her son that his truth must be told. A teaching moment for every adult in the room, “friendship is really the key,” said Harvey
The intense emotions reached the surface six days after Teresa Klein called the police and claimed the child had grabbed her butt last Wednesday.
Klein became apologetic after reviewing the security camera footage which showed the young man’s hands were in front of him throughout his time in the store. It turns out Jeremiah’s backpack brushed her backside as he passed her in the store.
Instead of addressing the child’s mother who was present at the time, Klein immediately called the police. Witnesses began to record to the woman as she spoke to a 911 operator.
“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.”
Appearing enraged, Klein demanded police to be sent to the store immediately. Terrified, young Jeremiah and his little sister began to cry as the clinched their mother, Someko Bellille.
Sill dressed in their school uniforms with shopping bags in hand, the children called out for their mother as she and other customers quickly dismissed Klein’s accusations.
“‘Cornerstore Caroline,’ that’s what that is,” one person could be heard saying on the video. “Don’t cry, little man.”
Bellille also spoke at the Monday night meeting. Speaking to the much larger issue which plagues our nation, she said, “What happened to us respecting one another, having unity and being neighborly?”
As video of the ordeal made viral rounds across social media, Brooklyn Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams decided to hold a community meeting.
Prior to the Monday meeting, Klein returned to the store to view the security footage.”Young man, I don’t know your name, but I’m sorry,” she said. However, after Jeremiah’s meeting, he told ABC New York station, WABC that he does not accept Klein’s apology.”I don’t forgive this woman, and she needs help,” he said.
In loving memory of Emmit Till, please white people, understand that 911 is reserved for real emergencies, not your insecurities.