US Woman Charged With Hate Crime After Wrongly Accusing Black Teenager

US Woman charged with a hate crime. US Woman charged with a hate crime.

A US woman who wrongly accused a black teenager of taking her phone at a hotel in New York City last year has been charged with a hate crime.

Video footage showed 22-year-old Miya Ponsetto chasing and tackling the 14-year-old after accusing him of theft. Her phone was later found in a taxi.

In addition to the charge of unlawful imprisonment as a hate crime, she has been charged with aggravated harassment and endangering the welfare of a child.

She has pleaded not guilty.

The incident took place in December in the lobby of the Arlo Hotel in Manhattan. Footage of it went viral after it was posted online by Grammy award-winning trumpeter Keyon Harrold - the father of the boy Ms Ponsetto falsely accused.

At the time, Mr Harrold said the incident had "traumatised" his son, Keyon Harrold Jr.

Kenyon's family and legal team welcomed the charges at a press conference on Wednesday.

Family lawyer Ben Crump said "god knows what would have happened" if Kenyon's father was not there.

In an interview in January, Ms Ponsetto told CBS: "I wasn't racial profiling whatsoever".

"I'm Puerto Rican. I'm, like, a woman of colour," she said.

Ms Ponsetto's lawyer, Paul D'Emilia, called the charges "absurd, and a perversion of our legal system".

Ms Ponsetto's next court date is scheduled for 20 October.

Source: BBC