Sometimes we like to joke that “three’s a trend,” but multiple allegations of racism against two retailers in one week is no laughing matter.
Actor Rob Brown of HBO‘s Treme is the latest to come forward with an accusation of racial profiling against a department store, following Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips, two black shoppers who claimed they were detained by New York police after purchasing luxury goods at Barneys.
Brown told the New York Daily News on Friday that officers “paraded” him around in handcuffs and held him for more than an hour after he bought a $1,350 Movado watch to celebrate his mother’s graduation from Metropolitan Community College. When he produced ID, the cops “kept telling [him], ‘Your card is fake. You’re going to jail.’” Like Christian and Phillips, Brown is also suing.
Macy’s, Inc said it is investigating Brown’s charges.
To address its own practices and procedures, Barneys has arranged a meeting with the Al Sharpton-headed civil rights group National Action Network next week. No word yet on if Macy’s is setting up something similar, but you don’t have to be a legal or PR expert to see that’d be a smart move.