Offending Merchant: Barneys upheld, supported or perpetrated the system of racism through a pattern of racially targeting Black and Latino customers shopping in its stores. Barneys has been repeatedly accused of racially profiling its customers throughout the years. In 1996, Johnnie Roberts, a journalist for Newsweek, published an account of an incident taking place in the spring of 1990 in which he was mistakenly accused of shoplifting because of being an African American.
In 2013 in multiple episodes involving Black customers employees targeted them for theft because they were non-white. Then, working in concert with the NYPD, Black & Latino persons were unlawfully stopped, questioned, searched and detained by NYPD cops. In many of the reported cases the customers had done nothing wrong. [MORE] and [MORE]
For instance, Trayon Christian, a 19-year-old mechanical engineering student, filed a civil rights lawsuit against Barneys. He said he was interrogated by police and released, in April 2013, after purchasing a $349 Ferragamo belt with what the store alleged was a fake credit card. In another incident, according to Kayla Phillips, a 21-year-old woman from Brooklyn, police swarmed her at a subway station, demanding to see her credit card. She had purchased a $2,500 Celine purse at Barneys. Again, no charges were filed. [MORE] and [MORE]