Macy’s is the latest New York City department store to be sued for alleged racial profiling.
Actor Rob Brown, who starred alongside Sean Connery in 2000’s “Finding Forrester,” says he was illegally detained by undercover cops after he bought a $US1,000 Movado watch for his mother, according to The New York Post. The purchase was made on June 8 near the Sunglass Hut in the chain’s flagship store in Herald Square.
The New York Post reports that according to the suit, which was filed against Macy’s and the New York Police Department on Friday, Brown “was told that his identification was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase.”
He was allegedly detained in the store’s jail for more than an hour and missed his mother’s college graduation because of the incident.
“You can’t let injustice roll like that,” Brown told The Post. “I’ll never get that time back. My mother was walking across the stage looking for me.”
The news comes just days after two black customers filed suit for alleged racial profiling at Barneys New York. According to The Post, 19-year-old Trayon Christian was detained after buying a Salvatore Ferragamo belt, while 21-year-old Kayla Phillips was stopped by police after using her debit card to buy a $US2,500 Celine handbag.
An official statement from Macy’s regarding Brown’s case reads:
Macy’s takes very seriously the accusations made by Mr. Robert Brown. The allegations are especially concerning given that our company does not tolerate discrimination of any kind, including racial profiling. We are reaching out to Mr. Brown so we can better understand the situation.
Since being made aware of Mr. Brown’s lawsuit late Friday, Macy’s has begun a thorough investigation of the events related to the incident on June 8, 2013, which are the basis for the lawsuit. The initial findings of our investigation include the following:
Macy’s personnel were not involved in Mr. Brown’s detention or questioning. This was an operation of the New York City Police Department.
We have no record of authorities being summoned to the Sunglass Hut department or other portions of the store based on the purchases made by Mr. Brown. Macy’s procedures would have required a store associate to alert Macy’s Loss Prevention department of any suspicious activity. There were no such reports.
Macy’s permitted the New York City Police Department, at its request, to use a room in the Macy’s Herald Square store in relation to its detention of Mr. Brown, but Macy’s personnel were not involved.
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. If Macy’s policies are found to have been violated, we will take swift and decisive action.
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