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Black Woman Purchases Pricey Handbag At Barneys & Gets Accused Of Credit Card Fraud


The NYPD has a lot of explaining to do. Recently, news broke that a Black college student was detained by police after purchasing a $350 belt from Barneys New York. Today, we get another report of a Black woman, Kayla Phillips, 21, who was also allegedly racially profiled by police after purchasing a pricey Celine handbag from the luxury department store on Madison Avenue.

Reports the New York Daily News:

Four plainclothes cops accused a black woman of credit card fraud after the Brooklyn mom bought a $2,500 designer bag from Barneys — stoking a fresh round of outrage against the high-end store.

Kayla Phillips, 21, a nursing student from Canarsie, told the Daily News she had long coveted the orange suede Céline bag. Armed with a cash infusion from a tax return, she took her Bank of America debit card and headed to the Madison Ave. flagship store on Feb. 28.

Phillips made the purchase without incident but says she was surrounded by cops just three blocks away, at the Lexington Ave. and 59th St. subway station.

“There were three men and a woman,” she recalled. “Two of them attacked me and pushed me against a wall, and the other two appeared in front of me, blocking the turnstile.”

Phillips’ story is similar to Trayon Christian, the teen who was stopped by police after making purchase a $349 Ferragamo belt.

Despite NYPD fishing for some type of fraud, both Phillips and Christian’s purchases were made legitimately with their own money.

Barneys New York released a statement, via its Facebook page, that the store not sic the police on Christian and does not tolerate discrimination.

“Barneys New York typically does not comment on pending litigation. In this instance, we feel compelled to note that after carefully reviewing the incident of last April, it is clear that no employee of Barneys New York was involved in the pursuit of any action with the individual other than the sale. Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination and we stand by our long history in support of all human rights.”

Phillips’ new Celine bag cost her $2500 and questioning from officers demanding to know what the Queens native was doing in Manhattan. She is preparing a Civil Rights lawsuit against the NYPD and Barneys.

On November 20, Barneys is launching the “A New York Holiday” collection in collaboration with Jay Z that features high end products by the likes of Balenciaga, Balmain and Rick Owens.

Should you be weary if you’re a person of color and cop any of those products from Barneys with your hard earned money if the Boys in Blue are around? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Photos of Phillips, the bag and her receipt in the gallery.

Photos: AP

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Comment Comments: 8 Tags Tags: nypd, racial profiling, barneys new york, kayla phillips

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  • Proud Mama of 1

    No need to state the obvious… Black people will ALWAYS be a target for discrimination but I think we need to look at a deeper issue. Why would a college student want to spend that kind of money??? You blow your tax refund on a bag that nothing in your wardrobe can even live up to. This is a BIG problem in our community. We don’t invest / save our money. We covet European fashion (that also excludes black people) that only rich people can afford – WHY??? And our favorite rappers are no help. Constantly “Shouting Out” these racist bastards and putting more money in their pocket.. “Versace Versace Versace” We will NEVER advance as a people if we don’t invest in EDUCATION, our COMMUNITIES and PASSING WEALTH down to our children and grandchildren

    • Aziza

      Yes, people need to stop spending money on these big names that don’t care about them and invest in our community. Shop at a local small business, open your own business if you can. I know my own limits and would never buy something like that even I made more money. It’s common sense.

  • chamoola

    Maybe now, we will get some sense about us! Stop supporting these designer labels some of us can’t even pronounce. It shows a complete lack of economical sense. It’s no wonder why we make up the small percentage of the population BUT the biggest consumer demographic. Not to mention, the origins of these labels are deep rooted in European superiority and privilege.

  • Randolph Robinson

    Well first of all it aint cool to have a publication and not grammar or spell check.
    The last sentence of the article should read, So you BEWARE……………
    Now as for the story I’m not surprised by anything that happens these days.

  • MyTwoCents

    Barney’s doesn’t want “the boys in blue” in their store to make arrests (especially since they probably think Blacks will make an ugly scene) so they ‘sic’ ’em on the unsuspecting after they have left the store. No ‘other’ Barney’s customer’s have to be subjected to the indecency of such an intrusion. Lest they think that could happen to them. God forbid Barney’s should lose a ‘legitimate’ high end customer (like Jay Z maybe). NYPD, well, what can I say??

  • K

    “Should you be wear…?” How did this glaring typo get by an editor?

    • Gallucci

      Don’t be sure that wasn’t an intended oxymoron to get the point across.

  • Gallucci

    Jaz Z should be just as shamed as Barney’s & the NYPD. After these racial profiling incidents against his own, why in God’s name would he want to lend his stature to this dept. store? He’s part of the problem.