A video of a Brooklyn woman calling the police on a young black child and his mother after the woman accused the boy of “sexually assaulting” her by “grabbing her butt” in a Flatbush corner store has gone viral. The 53-year-old woman can also be seen in the video yelling at another white woman who tried to intervene. She has been dubbed “Cornerstore Caroline” by the man who recorded the incident.
Surveillance video obtained by WPIX-TV shows that the boy did not grope the woman, but accidentally brushed against her as he left the store.
Teresa Sue Klein has been identified as the woman who called 911 in the video. It was posted on Facebook on October 10 by Jason Littlejohn just hours after the incident. Klein could not be reached for comment by Heavy. The woman and child Klein called the police on have not been identified and have not spoken out about the incident. A GoFundMe has been started by activist Michael Skolnik to help with his education. You can make a donation here.
“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,” Littlejohn wrote on Facebook. The video has been viewed millions of times since it was posted Wednesday night.
You can watch the video below:
Surveillance Video Shows That the Boy Did Not Grab the Woman
Surveillance video, which you can watch above, shows that the boy did not sexually assault or grope Teresa Klein. The video shows Klein leaning over the counter at the store when the boy walks behind her after his mother. As he accidentally brushes against her with his side and backpack, Klein turns around and looks at him. The video shows Klein making gestures and then arguing with the mother.
Ramos reports that Klein did call 911 and NYPD officers arrived about 17 minutes after her call. They did not file a report because everyone had left the scene, according to Ramos.
“The little kid thought he was going to go to jail for something he didn’t do,” Littlejohn, who recorded the video outside of the store, told The New York Times. “I thought it was someone calling police for unnecessary reasons, especially on a child. You think something like this only happens in the South, but it’s all over the world. He’s going to be traumatized for the rest of his life. This is something that will stick with him.”
Klein Waves to the Camera & Tells the Man Recording to ‘Upload That to World Star’
In the video, Teresa Klein can be heard saying, “I want the cops here right now.” As she talks to a 911 dispatcher, a child can be heard crying and screaming for his mom as the mother tries to calm her kids down. Klein appears to acknowledge that she is being filmed because of her 911 call. “A white lady calls the cops on a black lady, I get it. Yeah, they’re videotaping.”
Klein can then be heard telling the dispatcher, “the son grabbed my ass. And she decided to yell at me. There are security cameras,” she said she wanted officers to come to get the “security tape for evidence.” As she talks to the dispatcher, bystanders can be heard telling Klein to leave and go home.
Klein then waves to the camera as the boy continues crying “mommy.” Littlejohn then calls Klein “Cornerstore Caroline,” while telling the boy not to cry. Klein then tells the dispatcher, while also yelling at Littlejohn, “I was just sexually assaulted by a child.”
At that point in the video, the mother and her children left the area. Klein can be heard telling the dispatcher that she is either going to go down to the local precinct or the officers can come to her apartment so she can tell them what happened.
As Klein finishes her conversation with the 911 dispatcher, another white woman arrives at the scene and learns what is going on. “Is she serious?” the unidentified woman can be heard asking, after she is told that Klein was calling the police. Klein then turns to Littlejohn and waves at him, saying, “upload that to World Star,” a reference to the viral video and hip-hop site.
The other woman then tries to intervene, telling Klein, “Go away. What is your problem? I’m calling you out. You can’t just call the police on a child.”
After the other woman tells her she is “shameful,” Klein says, “Oh honey. You cannot shame me. You are a child. You are young enough to be my daughter. When you’re 53-years-old…” She then gets into the woman’s face and says, “do what? do what? do what?” while another bystander tries to break them up. Klein tells the other woman, “from one white girl to another, make the point to the entire audience.”
The video ends after a few more seconds of arguing between the two women.
Klein, a Missouri Native, Says She Is Not Racist & Offered an Apology to the Boy
Klein returned to the store on Friday and watched the surveillance video. While there, Klein was confronted by neighbors and reporters, according to the New York Post. Klein told The Post, “I would like to apologize to her daughter and her son but not to her (the boy’s mother). She could have walked away, but she didn’t. I’m also a Buddhist, [but] I let my temper show,” Klein said.
“I’ve been called racist before, and I’m not,” Klein added.
According to WABC-TV, she gave a message to the boy after watching the surveillance footage, telling reporters, “I was wrong. Young man, I don’t know your name but I’m sorry.”
Klein has deleted her social media profiles after being called out by viewers of the viral video. It is not clear if she has filed a police report over the incident. She did not return requests for comment from Heavy to her phone number and email address.
Klein is a Missouri native who went to the University of Missouri to study sociology. She has also been a performer and actress. Klein returned to the University of Missouri around 2008 to complete her Ph.D in biochemistry.
In the video, Klein claims that the woman told her she is a police officer and flashed some sort of badge while threatening to arrest her. Klein tells the other white woman that she wasn’t calling the police on the child, but on his police officer mother.
It has not been confirmed that the woman whose child Klein was accused of sexual assault is a police officer. Some on social media mistakenly thought that Klein said she herself was a police officer, but Klein was actually quoting the other woman when she said: “I’m a cop.”
Klein told The New York Post that the mother did claim to be a police officer and flashed a badge. She also says the mother called to threaten her after the incident, leaving a voicemail. None of that has been proved. “A woman charged at me and flashed a badge and said that she would arrest me,” she told The New York Times, “and I called 911.”
She told WABC-TV that she would still like to press charges against the mother for allegedly threatening her life. “I called 911 because this woman was very aggressive,” Klein told the news station.
According to WPIX-TV reporter Andrew Ramos, the owner of the store where the incident happened said Klein has a history of “being unwell.” Ramos and another reporter went to Klein’s apartment and he says she called the police on them for harassing her:
Klein told The New York Post she is an unemployed “feminist and humanist.” Her neighbors told The Post that Klein has a history of racist incidents, including calling 911. Some said she has written “racial slurs” on the sidewalk.
About those accusations, Klein told the newspaper, “I have no idea what they’re talking about.”
Hazel Freeman, a pastor who lives in the same building as Klein, told The Post, “People moved out of the building because of her. She’s terrorizing the building. She would call me up and tell me my son is smoking weed in the hallway. He’s married and he lives in Canarsie.”
Nahounha Alexandre, who works at a nearby Baptist church, told The New York Times the apology given by Klein isn’t enough unless she also drops her complaints about the boy’s mother. “She hurt all of us in this community because when you accuse that one little boy of doing something, you also accuse all of us,” Alexandre told the newspaper.
“Calling the authorities on innocent children puts unnecessary pressure on an already stretched police force, puts young people needlessly at risk for altercations with law enforcement, and instills fear, terror, anguish, and distrust in our communities,” Congresswoman Yvette Clarke told Bklyner. “I expect this situation to be handled in an appropriate and professional manner.”