October 24, 2013 (New York, NY) – Kirsten John Foy, President of the Brooklyn, NY, chapter of National Action Network (NAN), the organization led by civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton, has announced he is leading NAN’s call to meet with Mark Lee, the CEO of the high end department store Barneys, and is planning to picket the store if the pattern of racial profiling is not immediately rectified after numerous incidents of discrimination have come to light. Further action will be planned against the NYPD, who has a history of racial profiling against young Blacks and Hispanics, for continued use of the discriminatory pattern and practice against people of color.
Barneys New York is an American chain of luxury department stores headquartered in New York City. The chain owns flagship stores in New York City, Beverly Hills, and Chicago. This month, two New York teens have filed Notices of Claim against the high-profile department store Barneys New York, the city and its police department over incidents in which both say they were wrongfully detained after making expensive purchases.
In one suit, Trayon Christian of Queens said he went to Barneys on Madison Avenue in Manhattan on April 29 and purchased an expensive Ferragamo belt. After leaving, he was accosted by undercover NYPD officers, who said someone at the store had raised concerns over the sale. According to Christian’s lawsuit, filed Monday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, he showed the receipt from the purchase, the debit card he used to make it and identification to the officers, but was told the identification was false and “that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase.” (New York Daily News)
A second case involving Kayla Phillips, 21, a nursing student from Canarsie, has come to light according to the New York Daily News. Phillips has filed a notice of claim after being harassed, detained and discriminated against over the purchase of a $2,500 designer bag from Barneys who accused her of credit card fraud.
National Action Network will immediately demand a meeting with the Barney’s New York CEO and is mobilizing activists for direct-action against the major retail store and the NYPD.