Remember the scene in Why Did I Get Married? when the women were in the store and a white sales associate approached them, “We don’t carry money in the store”. A similar profiling incident occurred with students and Barney’s -- a high end Manhattan department store.
Trayon Christian, 19, filed a suit against Barney's and the NYPD. After buying a $350 Ferragamo belt, he was followed, handcuffed, then taken to a station. Kayla Phillips, 21, was followed then questioned by police after purchasing a $2,500 Celine handbag. In Phillips case, cops responded to a complaint from Barney’s; for Christian, cops were in store and made an “unrelated arrest”. Officials add that credit card fraud is a growing problem in the “well-to-do-area” -- 53 grand larceny complaints and more than 47 arrests to be exact (a racial breakdown was not available). Retailers should present data that disproves accusations of racial profiling.
Why is the public mad at Jay Z?
We know what to buy, but there's a problem when we make a purchase.... Christian and Phillips were harassed after making high-end purchases at the retailer with which Jay Z has a holiday marketing partnership. The project, A New York Holiday, took “the slickness, energy, and innovation of [NYC] and translate that into quality, timeless pieces”, said Jay Z to WWD. The collection includes T-shirts ($70), backpacks ($650) and watches ($33,500). What happened to quality customer service?
Twenty-five percent of sales will go to the Shawn Carter Foundation, but his silence on another racial profiling issue garnered more attention. The incidents at Barney’s surfaced mid-week, and Jay Z addressed the issue this weekend, “[I’m] against discrimination of any kind… [don’t] want to make snap judgments” to New York Daily News. Al Sharpton asks, "What is the collusion between NYPD and [store] security [stopping] somebody [who] bought something in [the] store? We call 911 and can't get a response. Somebody [spends] over two grand, and you pick them up four blocks later."