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.