Barneys settles racial profiling suit for $525K

By Michelle Kapusta,

The luxury retailer Barneys New York in New York City has agreed to pay $525,000 to settle a racial profiling suit against the company.

According to CBS News, the agreement comes after a nine-month long investigation in which two African-American shoppers said they were falsely accused of credit card fraud after making purchases at the store.

The patrons, Trayon Christian, 19, and Kayla Phillips, 21, said that they were wrongly accused and mistreated in separate incidents by Barneys’ security staff.

The lawsuits filed claimed that Christian was stopped, questioned and handcuffed by plainclothes officers a few blocks from the store after purchasing a Salvatore Ferragamo belt.

And Phillips said she was also stopped and detained after purchasing a $2,500 designer handbag.

The New York Times noted that state attorney general Eric Schneiderman’s office found that a disproportionate number of minorities had been targeted at the Madison Ave. flagship store for alleged shoplifting and fraud.

“Profiling and racial discrimination remain a problem in our state, but not one we are willing to accept,” Schneiderman said. “This agreement will continue our work to ensure there’s one set of rules for everyone in public accommodations.”

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