BROOKLYN — The backlash continues five days after the now-infamous confrontation where a woman falsely accused a 9-year-old boy of sex assault at a deli in Flatbush.
The claim was quickly debunked by surveillance footage first obtained by PIX11 on Friday, clearly showing the child’s backpack grazing Teresa Klein.
“I understand how it looks, but she escalated and then I lost my temper at her not at that child,” Klein told PIX11, blaming the child’s mother for the viral argument.
Klein has since issued an apology to the family.
“No one enjoys watching their son and family members crying, waking up in the middle of the night,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who has been in contact with the family, said.
He believes the children are traumatized by the incident. Adams is among those calling on the NYPD for an investigation into whether Klein committed any crimes.
He is now using the incident to start a community-wide conversation planned for Monday evening, addressing rampant abuse of calling 911 for minor disputes that he says predominantly target black men and women.
“Far too many people believe that a call to 911 for whenever there is some type of engagement - we want to stop that and start a dialogue," he said.
The entire ordeal has also given rise to another debate on social media. Critics of the #MeToo movement claim the incident was perpetuated by the so-called “believe all victims” ideology.
Activists insist the two should not be compared.
“This incident has nothing to do with the MeToo movement,” Sonia Ossorio, President of NOW NY, told PIX11. “The MeToo movement is about changing the rules that sexual assault and sexual harassment at the workplace are not going to be acceptable anymore.”
“What happened [in Brooklyn] was an isolated incident involving a woman who has a history of calling police on a number of people,” she said.
A GoFundMe campaign that was set up for the family shortly after the incident went viral has garnered over $15,000.
The individual responsible for launching the campaign, who has been in touch with the family, tells PIX11 the funds will go toward the boy’s education.