The racial profiling scandal that has exploded in the last week regarding high-end department store Barneys culminated into a meeting with community leaders on Tuesday (Oct. 29). Rev. Al Sharpton and others met with the CEO of Barneys New York to discuss the accusations of black shoppers that claim the store unfairly targeted them because of race.
Sharpton’s National Action Network headquarters served as the meeting place for the leaders and Barneys New York CEO, Mark Lee. The discussion was not open to the public but according to Sharpton, the meeting was productive.
“We had a very candid and open meeting today to begin a dialogue,” Sharpton said after the talk with Lee during a press conference. The executive placed much of the blame regarding the cases of Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips on the NYPD and the department fired back as well.
“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.”
“NYPD officers were conducting unrelated investigations and took action based on information brought to their attention by Barneys employees while in the security room,” said John J. McCarthy, the NYPD’s top spokesman.
The matter has gained national attention, and has inspired past Barneys employees to craft their our own lawsuit cases. One such ex-worker claims that security agents would often ask for reciepts after a customer of hers made a large transaction.
“Because I had mostly men of color, it happened often to me,” said Nafeesa Baptiste. She also adds actors and other black celebrities were subject to the same profiling treatment.
Backing that claim is the recent news of actor Rob Brown also claiming Barneys racially profiled him after an expensive watch purchase.
Photo: The New York Times