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The store’s security cameras told a different story
‘Cornerstone Caroline’ apologizes after incident in Brooklyn store
BROOKLYN, NY (WABC/CNN) – The commotion outside of a Flatbush bodega Wednesday evening quickly drew a crowd.
Teresa Klein, now known as “Cornerstore Caroline” on the internet, loudly accused a 9-year-old boy of grabbing her behind.
“I was just sexually assaulted by a child,” Klein could be heard yelling.
In what has since become a viral video on social media, Klein allegedly told a 9-1-1 dispatcher she needed police immediately, prompting gut-wrenching cries from the boy and his younger sister.
Jason Littlejohn, who lives next door, captured the entire exchange that followed on video and said police never came. He now questions if Klein ever made a call and if she understands the gravity of her accusations.
“She basically said, ‘I’m calling the cops on you.’” Littlejohn explained. “She didn’t say the mom or anybody else. She said, ‘I’m calling the cops on you.’ And that poor little boy, man, wherever he is, whoever he is, hopefully there is millions of people that definitely want to help him out.”
Meanwhile, Klein returned to the bodega Friday and watched the surveillance video from inside the store.
The footage clearly showed the boy’s hands in plain sight, and it was his book-bag that grazed her.
“I was wrong,” Klein admitted. “Young man, I don’t know your name, but I’m sorry.”
Klein claims since the incident, she’s received an overwhelming amount of phone calls and threats and now she can’t walk the streets of Flatbush without fear.
She also claims the boy’s mother threatened her life and she would like to pursue charges against her.
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Sean Carter is a Harvard-educated attorney who currently practices law in Arizona. Despite this, he fears every day for his life and the lives of his family – solely because they are black. While many people would say racism is a thing of the past, the minorities of today are opening up about the racism of today. Carter decided to share his experience receiving a package that wasn’t intended for him as an example.
“This package has been sitting outside my house for days now. Why? Because we are black. And yes, I’ll explain,” the Phoenix resident wrote.
The package was apparently addressed to a family that lived just a few blocks down the street. Carter anticipated that people online would ask why he didn’t just bring the package himself, and that is the basis for his post.
“It’s extremely unsafe to send our boys to the home of any family that we don’t know in this predominantly white neighborhood. Why? Because there is a realistic chance that one of my neighbors will see my boy as a threat and call the police or even pull a gun,” he continued.
He recommends anyone that thinks he is exaggerating to google, “Brennan Walker.” Walker is a 14-year-old high school freshman who recently was shot at by a white man after he tried to ask her for directions.
The incident happened in early April after Walker slept in by accident and had to walk to school. He lost his way and approached the house. Walker knocked on the door and found a woman in hysterics. Security footage shows that she cried out to herself, “Why did these people choose my home?” This was just after he knocked on the door.
Jeffrey Ziegler has now been charged with assault with intent to murder and a felony firearm charge according to the local news reports. He could spend the rest of his life in prison after trying to kill this young man who simply tried knocking on a neighbor’s door for help.
“I feel terrible for the young man; I feel terrible for the mom and the anxiety that they had to go through,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in an interview with WJBK in Michigan. “We are going to ask for every charge permissible for this guy who stepped up and fired a shotgun because someone knocked on his door.”
In his Facebook post, Carter makes a really good point. While some white Americans may think that racism is a thing of the past, the fact is these minorities are legitimately worried about their lives. To the point that they won’t even bring a package to a neighbor – and that is not okay.
“THAT is why the f-king package will be sitting on my porch until UPS retrieves it. Because I can’t trust that my white neighbors won’t see me, a Harvard-educated lawyer (or my 14 yo honor student son) as a roaming homicidal maniac. That’s what it’s like to be black in ‘post-racial’ America,” Carter wrote.
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Robert Coleman, 27, was found guilty of second-degree murder Monday in Alexandria Circuit Court. (Alexandria Detention Center)
“We of course remain disappointed that they didn’t see it as manslaughter,” Coleman’s attorney, Robert Jenkins, said after the jury returned. He said Coleman and his family were “grateful” for the jury’s recommended sentence, given that second-degree murder can carry a punishment of up to 40 years. It reflected, Jenkins said, “that this was not something that he wanted to happen, that he did not intend to take someone’s life.”
A judge will formally sentence Coleman on May 24, but deviations from jury recommendations are rare. He is being held at the Alexandria Detention Center.
“In an all-too-often repeated theme, a tragedy unfolded because of a defendant’s inability to tolerate a perceived slight,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter said in a statement. “Verbal arguments should never devolve into physical altercations because physical altercations often bring devastating consequences.”
Coleman and Montiel-Benitez were strangers. Coleman was buying cigarettes. Montiel-Benitez was buying alcohol at the convenience store near the Mark Center on Seminary Road.
The source of the animosity between them remains a mystery. Surveillance video shows they engaged in a brief conversation, but there is no audio. Coleman’s girlfriend, Nikki Howard, testified she could not hear the entire conversation but broke the two up. In the video, Montiel-Benitez is seen walking to Coleman says that is when she called him the n-word; Howard remembered her cursing. In the video Coleman can be seen chasing Montiel-Benitez outside.
Through the leaves of a tree, another camera captures the punch that put Montiel-Benitez in a coma from which she did not recover.
Coleman fled the scene and was picked up the next day when a detective recognized him in the surveillance video. He at first denied involvement in what he thought was simply an assault. When he was told Montiel-Benitez was in critical condition, he admitted hitting her, but said he had not meant to cause serious harm.
He also thought the heavyset woman with short hair was a man, he told detectives.
Lord argued the focus on Montiel-Benitez’s appearance at trial, as well as the high level of alcohol in her system, was disrespectful to the dead.the door and then turning.
“She deserves to be treated with more humanity,” he told the jury.
He said Coleman was “a bully who was looking for a fight” and picked on Montiel-Benitez, who was just trying to get away.
Jenkins told jurors Montiel-Benitez’s .351 blood alcohol level and size might help explain why Coleman believed “this was going to be mutual combat, and he struck first.”
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