An online crowdfunding effort has gotten underway in an effort to help support the teenager at the center of a bikesharing dispute in New York City and his family after the incident was recorded on video and went viral earlier this month.
A GoFundMe account was started on Thursday, nearly three weeks after the so-called “Citi Bike Karen” incident in which a white woman appeared to falsely suggest she was in distress because of a group of Black teenagers who say they were simply existing before she approached them.
The video footage shows that one of those teens, in particular, was especially subjected to what is widely being derided as fake tears by Sarah Jane Comrie, a physician assistant whose calls for “help” followed the playbook of other white women “Karens” who weaponize their whiteness typically at the expense of Black people.
The GoFundMe was specifically started to help that teen and his family, immigrants from West Africa who broke their silence in an exclusive interview with NewsOne. Their names were changed in the interview because the teen is 17 years old and overall concerns about the family’s safety.
“We are assisting the family of the young man who Sarah Comrie assaulted over a Citi Bike,” the GoFundMe says in part. “Her supporters and the right-leaning media have propagated the narrative that she was the victim. They have worked diligently to defame the young man, his acquaintances, and his family in order to portray her as the victim.”
Noting that NewsOne is the only media outlet that “has interviewed the family and the young man,” the GoFundMe also said the “family requires assistance to bring his tale to light and to defend themselves against the false accusations.”
In the interview, the teen and his family contradicted the narrative from Sarah Jane Comrie’s lawyer that she was a victim in a dispute over the use of an electronic Citi Bike that receipts show was already in his possession. The blame game quickly ensued with right-wing tabloids pushing a narrative that all but criminalized the teen and his friends. The result was a GoFundMe account for Sarah Jane Comrie that’s raised more than $120,000 for her “mounting” legal bills.
The teen and his family need legal representation, too, which is where the GoFundMe comes in.
“No one is helping us,” the teen’s mother told NewsOne in an emotional interview. “We are poor people. We are immigrants. We can’t afford a lawyer.”
Perhaps now that the GoFundMe has started, the teen and his family will be able to retain legal representation.
“The funds will be distributed directly to the family. We’re merely facilitating the situation,” the GoFundMe said. “All proceeds will be used to fund the family’s defense against Ms. Comrie and her team.”
Donations have already begun to be made. To make your own contribution to the GoFundMe account, click here.
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