View Full Version : City to pay $45K to settle Barneys racial profiling claim

The Bobster
10-23-2013, 10:48 AM

Barneys busted student for ‘shopping while black’
By Julia Marsh
October 22, 2013 | 7:15pm

Trayon Christian

A college student from Queens got more than he bargained for when he splurged on a $350 designer belt at Barneys — when a clerk had him cuffed apparently thinking the black teen couldn’t afford the pricey purchase, even though he had paid for it, a new lawsuit alleges.

“His only crime was being a young black man :rolleyes:,” his attorney, Michael Palillo, told The Post.


Trayon Christian, 19, a NYC College of Technology freshman from Corona, went to the Madison Avenue fashion mecca in April to buy the Salvatore Ferragamo belt after saving up his paychecks from a part-time job at the college.


But as soon as he exited the luxury department store, undercover officers grabbed Christian and asked “how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt,” according to the suit, filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court.

A Barneys clerk, who had asked Christian for identification when he bought the belt, called police claiming the purchase was a fraud, the suit says.


Plainclothes detectives hauled Christian off Fifth Avenue and into the local precinct.

There, Christian produced his identification, his debit card from Chase and the receipt with his name on it, the suit states.

“In spite of producing such documentation, Christian was told that his identification was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase.”

A belt similar to this one was purchased by Trayon Christian at Barneys.

Cops eventually called Chase, which verified that the card belonged to Christian, and they let him go.

Police sources said Christian has no arrest record.

Christian told The Post he returned the belt out of disgust over his treatment by the world-famous clothing store.

“I didn’t want to have anything to do with it,” he said, adding that he was first inspired to buy the accessory by Harlem cRapper Juelz Santana who wears the Italian designer’s duds.

Christian said he’ll never shop at Barneys again.

He is suing both Barneys and the NYPD for unspecified damages. :rolleyes:

Barneys did not immediately comment.

A spokeswoman for the city’s Law Department said she would review the claims once she received the suit.

The Bobster
10-24-2013, 10:24 AM

‘Barneys busted me for buying $2,500 bag’
By Kevin Fasick and Julia Marsh
October 23, 2013 | 10:04pm

Kayla Phillips (left) has come forward to say she was discriminated against at Barneys, much like Trayon Christian (right).

Another young black Barneys customer came forward Wednesday to say she had been racially profiled by snooty store clerks after making a pricey purchase.

Brooklyn resident Kayla Phillips, 21, had a déjà vu ghetto lottery moment when she saw news coverage of a black, 19-year-old Queens student who was cuffed by cops after buying a $350 designer belt at Barneys.

Phillips told The Post she had a chillingly similar encounter with police after leaving the Madison Avenue shopping mecca in February with a $2,500 Céline handbag she’d just splurged on.

“As I was walking into the train station, four undercover police officers attacked me,” Phillips said.

“They asked me why I used a debit card and why it didn’t have my name on it,” she said of her temporary Bank of America card.

A frightened Phillips called her mom, who told The Post cops had asked, “What are you doing here in Manhattan? Where’d you get the money to buy that expensive bag?”

Her mother, Wendy Straker, said the police were clearly on the phone with a Barneys rep who was feeding them information about her daughter’s transaction.

When she showed police her ID and her new debit card, which had arrived in the mail that morning, they let her go.

On Tuesday, black, 19-year-old Queens student Trayon Christian sued Barneys :rolleyes: for allegedly calling the cops on him after he purchased a $350 designer belt in April.

The undercover detectives asked him, “how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt,” according to the suit.

“Jay Z is getting ready to do a campaign with Barneys, but they’re looking at these African-American kids like they’re thieves,” Straker said. :eek:

Phillips is suing the NYPD for $5 million. A spokeswoman for the city’s Law Department said she would review the claim.

A store spokeswoman said of the belt incident, “No employee of Barneys New York was involved in the pursuit of any action with the individual other than the sale.”

10-27-2013, 05:27 AM

Sharpton, Jay-Z Weigh-In On Claims Of Racial Profiling At Barneys
2 People Have Alleged Racial Profiling At Store; One Has Filed Suit
October 26, 2013 9:45 PM

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton on Saturday called threatened to boycott the luxury retailer Barneys, in response to allegations by shoppers who claimed they were racially profiled.

Sharpton said Saturday that black New Yorkers “are not going to live in a town where our money is considered suspect and everyone else’s money is respected.”

Sharpton vowed to put shopping at Barneys “on hold” if the retailer fails to respond adequately to the allegations.

Earlier this week, Kirsten John Foy, president of Sharpton’s National Action Network, spoke with Barneys chief executive officer Mark Lee and made plans to meet next week, according to a published report.

In the wake of the Barneys scandal, some critics also have turned their attention to hip-hop artist Jay-Z.

“If they’re targeting minorities and he’s a minority, I think what he has to do is step up and put pressure on them as well,” resident Sheena Rue added.

The rapper, whose real name is Shawn Carter, has a collection set to debut at the store next month, CBS 2′s Andrea Grymes reported.

On Saturday, he released a statement that questioned why he had come under fire in the wake of the profiling allegations.

“I am not making a dime from this collection,” he said in the statement, “I do not stand to make millions, as falsely reported.”

Carter went on to explain that a portion of the profits are supposed to go to his foundation and will be used to educate children from lower-income households.

Jay-Z said that while profiling is not something that he is okay with he is waiting on the facts.

The Bobster
10-29-2013, 12:50 PM
You slip these in so well I had to check the original story! Nice slam Bobster.

I do that to see if you're paying attention. :p


Barneys: We didn’t stop black shoppers
By Kevin Fasick and Jeane MacIntosh
October 29, 2013 | 1:11pm

The Rev. Al Sharpton, left, meets with Barneys New York Chief Executive Mark Lee at the National Action Headquarters in New York.

Red-faced Barneys New York honcho Mark Lee publicly apologized :mad: to two black shoppers – and rap impresario Jay-Z – in the wake of embarrassing racial profiling allegations, but insisted the retailer had a “zero tolerance” discrimination policy.

“No one, and I mean no individual, should go through the unacceptable experiences described by Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips in recent media reports, and we offer our deepest sympathies to both of them,” Lee said Tuesday after an hour-long meeting with the Rev. Al Sharpton. :mad:

Sharpton and his National Action Network demanded a face-to-face with Barneys brass and threatened to put shopping at the luxe retailer “on hold” after Christian and Phillips separately accused Barneys of sending cops to question and detain them after making big-ticket buys at the Manhattan store.

Both young shoppers said they were grilled on whether or not their cards were the real deal (they were) and how they could possibly afford the expensive items they bought.

“That’s not the policy at Barneys,” Lee said. “Racial profiling is an extremely serious form of discrimination. We take it very seriously, and if we found that to be factually true we would terminate those individuals [involved,]” Lee said. :mad:

“Our preliminary investigation has concluded that in both of these instances no one from Barneys New York raised any issue with these purchases,” Lee said. “No one from Barneys brought them to the attention of our internal security and no one from Barneys reached out to external authorities.”

Asked if he was blaming the NYPD for the alleged profiling, Lee said, “I can only speak to what we know from the preliminary investigation…We believe, in the last week of our research that no Barneys employees was involved in these two instances.”

Jay-Z, also known as Sean Carter, wound up in the mix because he’s slated to debut a clothing line at the swanky chain store in November. He also has charity dealings with Barneys and the alleged profiling of Christian and Phillips sparked a push for the music mogul to cut those ties.

“We deeply regret that these recent events have distracted from the great work of the Sean Carter Foundation, and we offer our sincere apologies to Mister Carter.” Lee said.

“Our collaboration together is based on the shared mission of helping individuals facing socio-economic hardships.”

Jay Z on Saturday released a statement on his website saying he “isn’t making a dime” off his Barneys partnership.”

Lee praised his sitdown with Sharpton, which also included Sen. Eric Adams, New York NAACP’s Hazel Dukes and NAN honcho Kirsten John Foy.

“I’m prepared to stand with the Rev. Sharpton and the leaders to effect real change and bring other retailers into the fold,” Lee said.

“Moving forward there is a broader issue that needs to be addressed and Barneys New York is committed to be part of the solution.”

Lee said he is aware that state Attorney General is investigating claims of profiling and said “we’re going to cooperate fully.”

Meanwhile, two other men – including HBO actor Rob Brown — have claimed Macy’s midtown flagship singled them out about purchases because they are black.

Sharpton on Tuesday said retailers need to be aware of what’s happening in their stores.

“If, in fact, NYPD takes it upon themselves to profile, that needs to be dealt with by retailers,” Sharpton said.

“If, in fact, there were rogue members in these department stores that have some collusion with members of NYPD that is not known to the heads of these companies, that ought to be dealt with by retailers.”

The Bobster
10-31-2013, 10:55 AM
Shrimpton looks like the creature in Alien.

The Bobster
10-31-2013, 10:59 AM

Coon couple sues Macy’s, say they were racially profiled
By Julia Marsh
October 30, 2013 | 8:06pm

A black couple from Brooklyn slapped Macy’s with a $2 million lawsuit Wednesday, alleging that they were racially profiled while shopping at the department store in Roosevelt Field mall.

It is the fourth lawsuit filed in what is a growing :confused: ugly trend of black customers at Macy’s and Barneys who say they’ve been accused of theft after making legal purchases.

In this most recent case, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Richard Campbell and Samantha Bynoe, of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, were at the Garden City, LI Macy’s on Sept. 24 with their 2-year-old bastard niglet daughter when they purchased clothing with a gift card.

After they left the store, “two males — who did not identify themselves but who later turned out to be Macys’ employees — aggressively stopped the plaintiffs and took from the plaintiffs the bags containing [their] purchases and directed [them] to return to the Macy’s store,” according to the suit.

Campbell, 24, believes he was “coonfronted because he is African-American and Macy’s has a policy of profiling African-Americans and targeting them as possible thieves and shoplifters solely because they are African-American,” the suit alleges.

He adds in the legal documents that Macy’s has “created a black list” by “not wishing to sell to African-Americans because of their color.”

The suit continues that they “were then taken through Macy’s to a back room where there were three or four persons who were Macy’s employees.”

The Brooklyn residents claim they “were wrongfully detained, had their shopping bags from Macy’s as well as shopping bags from Bloomingdale’s rummaged through.”

After an hour the couple showed the employees their receipts and was allowed to leave.

“What I think is interesting is Macy’s has had this problem before,” said the couple’s attorney, David Jaroslawicz, adding that he had prepared his claim before news coverage about the three other incidents.

But the allegations are not just recent history.

Jaroslawicz noted that Macy’s alleged history of targeting black and Latino shoppers was “so egregious” that the state attorney general won a $600,000 settlement against the store in 2005. Part of the settlement required appointing a security monitor to crack down on the alleged profiling incidents.

“As soon as the monitor ended, they went back to business as usual,” said Jaroslawicz.

Macy’s issued a statement saying: “We cannot comment on any specifics about the lawsuit as it is pending litigation. We will investigate any of the claims alleged by Mr. Campbell and Ms. Bynoe in their lawsuit. Again, we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind within our organization.”

The Bobster
11-16-2013, 08:32 AM

Jay Z sticks with Barneys amid ‘shop and frisk’ furor
By Stephanie Smith
November 15, 2013 | 8:25pm

Jay Z will keep his special line of holiday goods at Barneys New York despite the furor over the “shop and frisk” controversy at the store, he said in a statement Friday night. :rolleyes:

Jay had been pressured to drop the line with the retailer after two innocent :rolleyes: African-American shoppers were questioned by police in separate incidents after making expensive purchases at Barneys, which also denies any wrongdoing.

But the music and fashion mogul issued a statement on his Web site Life +Times, explaining: “While I await the findings of the attorney general’s office, I have agreed to move forward with the launch of BNY SCC collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling.”

Demonstrators hold signs outside Barneys New York October 30, 2013.

Jay Z’s statement continued: “I am in a unique position to use my voice to effect change to this disturbing issue. The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem.” But, “I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on.”

Proceeds from the Barneys line will benefit the Shawn Carter Foundation, and is expected to generate $3 million. A launch party scheduled for next week had been up in the air.

Barneys said of Jay Z’s decision: “Moving forward, Mr. Carter’s leadership in this process will further strengthen the industry’s ability to ensure that anyone who walks into a retail establishment is treated equally and with respect.” :rolleyes:

City Council members Jumaane Williams and Deborah Rose, and members of the NYPD, will hold a hearing on Wednesday night at City Hall. Two days later, a meeting will gather retailers including Macy’s, Barneys and Bloomingdale’s, plus the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Sharpton earlier raised the possibility of a boycott of the stores. He told Page Six that unless they promise to take action to mitigate racial profiling, “We will make a move before the holidays.”

The Bobster
11-28-2013, 03:06 PM

Barneys to watch cops watching customers
By Associated Press
November 28, 2013 | 2:34am

Barneys says it will start monitoring the police as they monitor shoppers in its flagship Manhattan store.

An internal Barneys memo sent to its security staff Tuesday said the store would start keeping a log of which police officers use its security room. The memo, obtained by The Associated Press, said Barneys would maintain video and audio surveillance.

The memo also said that any officer using the room shall provide “a reasonable description of the individual . . . that they wish to place under surveillance.”

It comes after two black shop(lifters) said they were racially profiled at Barneys earlier this year.

The Bobster
12-10-2013, 08:53 AM

NY Probes Claims of Racial Profiling at Barneys, Macy's
Monday, Dec 9, 2013 | Updated 8:29 PM EST

The Rev. Al Sharptongue says a coalition of major retailers has agreed to create a customer "bill of rights" that will be posted in stores to help prevent racial profiling.

Sharpton says snivel rights leaders met Monday with representatives from jew retail chains including Barneys, Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor and The Gap.

He says the bill of nigger shoplifter rights will be posted in stores and on retailers' websites this week.

The agreement prohibits profiling and unreasonable searches of the sacred negro. It states that workers who show good business sense will be disciplined and could be fired.

The two groups first met last month after several black shoppers alleged they were racially profiled at Macy's and Barneys New York. The stores deny they had policies that targeted black customers.

The Bobster
10-04-2014, 05:24 PM

Barneys settles racial profiling suit
By Selim Algar
October 3, 2014 | 9:16pm

Luxury retailer Barneys has settled a racial profiling suit with a black shopper who was hassled after buying a $2,500 Celine bag last year, The Post has learned.

Kayla Phillips, a nursing student, sued Barneys in Brooklyn federal court after she was detained despite paying for the item with money from her tax return.

Barneys quietly settled her case and insisted on a confidentiality agreement that bars her from publicly revealing how much money she received.

Her attorney, Kareem Vessup, confirmed the settlement but would not comment further.

The retailer agreed to pay $525,000 to settle a discrimination case with the state attorney general in August and also vowed to implement sweeping policy changes.

That probe was sparked after Phillips and another black shopper, Trayon Christian, complained that store security confronted them after making legitimate purchases.

The Bobster
01-20-2016, 06:44 AM

City to pay $45K to settle Barneys racial profiling claim
By Lia Eustachewich
January 20, 2016 | 1:45am

Trayon Christian
Photo: Facebook

The city has reached a $45,000 settlement with a college student who says he was racially profiled and arrested at Barneys in Manhattan, The Post has learned.

Trayon Christian, 21, of Queens says workers at the Madison Avenue store called police on him during a shopping trip in 2013. The cops asked him “how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase” a $350 Salvatore Ferragamo belt he was trying to buy, according to his lawsuit.

Christian was hauled to a local station house and was let go only after cops called Chase Bank to verify the debit card he used to buy the belt belonged to him.

“Resolving this litigation was in the best interest of the city,” a city Law Department spokesman said. :mad:

Last year, Barneys settled for an undisclosed amount with a black shopper, Kayla Phillips, who was targeted while buying a $2,500 Celine bag.