- Ben Crump told TMZ that if Miya Ponsetto were Black, she would have been behind bars.
- Ponsetto was seen attacking a Black teen at an NYC hotel after accusing him of stealing her phone.
- She pleaded guilty to a felony hate crime charge last week but will avoid jail time.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump believes that if the woman captured on video assaulting a Black teen at an NYC hotel in 2020 were not white, she would be behind bars.
“It’s our belief that if Miya Ponsetto was an African American woman and she committed assault and battery on a young white teenager, falsely, that she would have been charged and convicted of a felony conviction,” Crump told TMZ in a recent interview.
Last week, Ponsetto, dubbed “Soho Karen,” avoided jail time by pleading guilty to felony unlawful imprisonment as a hate crime related to the incident where she falsely accused the teen of stealing her phone. As Insider’s Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert reported, she will be able to enter a new plea to a misdemeanor charge without a hate crime element if she completes probation for a separate drunk driving case.
The viral video, posted by the teen’s father, Keyon Harrold, shows Ponsetto attacking the teen at the Arlo Hotel in New York. An Uber driver later returned her phone.
Following the incident, Harrold, a Grammy-winning jazz musician, his son was left “seriously traumatized.” During the interview with TMZ, he said that Ponsetto has not apologized to his son.
“It’s traumatic to even think about it,” he told the outlet. “It’s trauma every time it comes up. It’s trauma revisiting this subject so much and triggering to my entire family. I still don’t understand — even me speaking to her at the time — what was going through her mind, what validated her, what made it even possible to attack a kid in such a way.”