A white woman was captured on video calling police on a black child who she claimed groped her inside a Brooklyn bodega. Security camera footage from inside the deli appears to refute the woman's allegation, and video from the ensuing argument quickly went viral, the latest in a series of videos showing white Americans weaponizing the police against persons of color.
The incident happened inside the Sahara Deli Market in Flatbush on Wednesday, when the woman—who identifies herself in the video as Teresa Klein—became angry because she believed the child, who was inside the store with his mother and sister, purposefully touched her buttocks. The argument spilled outside the bodega, and Klein called police.
Bystander Jason Littlejohn began filming her at this point (see video below), and branded the woman "Cornerstore Caroline," similar to other viral videos of white women, including “Barbecue Becky" and "Permit Patty," who called the police on African-Americans for specious reasons. "White Woman calls police on a kid, saying he sexually assaulted her," Littlejohn wrote. "As I walked up I noticed the argument, apparently the kid brushed up against her and she said he touched her and decided to call police on a nine year old child. As you can see the kid is crying and the mom is upset."
"That's right, the son grabbed my ass, and [the mother] decided to yell at me," she says on the call. "I was just sexually assaulted by a child." She seems somewhat self-aware of how she is being perceived ("White lady calls the cops on a black lady, I get it," she says at one point. "They're videotaping."), but continues escalating the situation even as multiple people, including passersby, try to get her to stop. Klein also claims to be a cop, and states her address and phone number during the call; a Whitepages search lists one Teresa Klein at the address she provides in the video. Multiple calls to that phone number have gone unanswered.
But security camera footage from inside the bodega appears to show that the child never groped her. At worst, he brushed against her with his backpack as he walked past her with his mom.
"He was walking out with his mom and accidentally brushed up against her. His mother was right behind him," a bodega worker told the Post. In the video below, you can see it all play out, including the moment after the child walks by when Klein seems to rhythmically air hump in the family's general direction.
— Andrew Ramos (@AndrewRamosTV) October 12, 2018
Another customer weighed in on what she saw: "Me and my son were recording it, thinking if the white [woman] call the police, who knows, maybe the mom could go to jail," Joni Torian, who witnessed the dispute, told the Post. "The mother was right behind him when she says he grabbed her very flat behind. Ain’t no mama gonna let her child sexually assault a woman. [The customer] started yelling, 'Miss, you need to watch your son, he just grabbed my ass.' It was kind of funny at first, but then she was saying, 'I will call the cops.'"