New York State Investigates Racial Profiling Claims Against Macy's, Barneys

New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation into Macy's (NYSE: M) and Barneys after four claims of racial profiling have emerged in the past week. Schneiderman is requiring the retailers to turn over information about their policies for detaining and questioning customers.

The four incidents each involved African Amercian shoppers who say they were unfairly detained or questioned after making expensive purchases in Macy's flagship Manhattan store and Barneys New York. Both department stores have spoken out about the accusations, stating that store employees were not involved in any of the incidents and that it was the NYPD who initiated contact with the African American shoppers.

On Tuesday, Oct. 29, Barneys chief executive Mark Lee and Macy's chief stores officer Peter Sachse received letters from the attorney general's office describing the four incidents as "troubling," reports Forbes. Both executives have until today, Oct. 30, to respond to the attorney general's request for an in-person meeting to be held Friday to discuss the allegations and provide a list of every shopper stopped and detained in the past 12 months, broken down by race. The retailers will also have to hand over details on their internal policies for contacting police with concerns about shoppers.

In addition to requests from the attorney general, Lee has also responded to an invitation from Rev. Al Sharpton to meet with the National Action Network in Harlem alongside representatives from the NAACP. The civil rights activist says that the private meeting, held yesterday, included a "candid" discussion about the racial profiling allegations.

For more see:
-This Forbes article
-This Washington Post article
-This TIME article

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