With tensions boiling over racial profiling accusations at New York clothing retailer Barneys, new reports claim HBO actor Robert Brown has filed a lawsuit over a similar incident at Macy’s.
According to reports, the “‘Treme” claims he was racially profiled and accused of credit craud fraud.
An actor on a popular HBO series who says he was stopped buying sunglasses because of his race at a Macy’s department store in the city has filed a lawsuit against the company. A suit filed by Robert Brown in state Supreme Court in Manhattan on Friday alleges the actor was stopped by police at the 34th Street location after employees there contacted authorities about possible credit card fraud. He said he was held at the store, handcuffed and searched before being released. (CBS Local)
The incident reportedly went down in June and Brown said he wants to put an end to injustice.
Brown said he was targeted because he’s black. He has appeared on the silver screen in “Finding Forrester” alongside Sean Connery and currently stars on the hit HBO series “Treme.” The actor opened up about racial profiling that he says he was subjected to inside of the iconic Macy’s location. “You can’t let injustice roll. It’s your duty to do something about it or the next person is going to walk into that same trap,” he said. Brown said that he was buying his mother a $1,300 watch as a graduation present in June when he was surrounded by undercover cops. “All I kept hearing was, ‘it’s a fake card, you’re going to jail,'” Brown said. (CBS Local)
Action has already been taken at a Barneys New York store following multiple racial profiling accusations.
Barneys New York is taking the accusations that employees of its Madison Avenue flagship racially profiled two young black customers very seriously (both stories here and here): The department store’s chief exec Mark Lee will meet with Kirsten John Foy, the president of Reverend Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network’s (NAN) Brooklyn chapter to discuss the claims next week, according to a Barneys spokeswoman. Foy noted that if nothing changes, NAN plans to picket the department store. (Racked)
The high-end company has also sought out an expert to look into the local matter.
Barneys New York department store, accused of racially profiling shoppers, said Thursday it has retained a civil rights expert to lead a review of its policies and procedures and has reached out to community leaders to start a dialogue. Two black shoppers said they were questioned by police after they made expensive purchases at the Manhattan store. One has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Barneys, the city and its police department; the other has filed a complaint with the city’s police watchdog agency. (ABC News)
Buzz behind a petition against Barneys started to make its rounds online Thursday (October 24).
He’s got 99 problems and Barneys is a big one. Jay Z is getting slammed online for his association with the high-end department store rocked this week by two separate instances in which black shoppers say they were profiled and mistakenly accused of theft. The department store isn’t faring any better, with at least one online petition calling for a boycott. The enterprising user behind the change.org petition is also selling “Barneys New Slaves” T-shirts with proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Club of America. Even big names like Questlove, the drummer for The Roots, and Power 105 DJ Angela Yee are getting in on the criticism. “guess where i won’t be christmas shopping for mom this year,” Questlove wrote in a now-deleted tweet. (New York Daily News)