Macy's, Barneys New York Respond to Racial Profiling Claims

Macy's (NYSE: M) officials have responded to allegations of racial profiling, stating that no Macy's employees were involved in an incident where an African American customer claims he was stopped because of his race while shopping at the New York City flagship.

"Our company will continue to investigate all aspects of our alleged involvement in this incident, and to cooperate fully with the courts and the New York City Police Department, with which we have a close and important working relationship," the company said in a statement. "If Macy's policies are found to have been violated, we will take swift and decisive action."

A lawsuit filed by Ron Brown alleges that he was detained nearly an hour by police on June 8 after Macy's employees suspected his credit card was fraudulent when he purchased a $1,350 Movado watch. Court documents indicate that three undercover police officers detained Brown after he made his purchase. Although he said he showed them his I.D. to prove that the credit card was his, they reportedly accused him of fraud and proceeded to handcuff him in the store. No charges were brought against Brown. 

The incident comes to light in the same week that two African American customers said they were detained by police after making expensive purchases at Barneys New York. Brown said he came forward after reading news accounts of others who had had similar experiences at Barneys.  Barneys posted an apology on its Facebook page on Thursday, Oct. 24, and has hired civil rights attorney Michael Yaki, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, to review the store's practices and procedures. 

For more see:
-This Macy's statement
-This Huffington Post article
-This ABC article article

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