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The internet exploded with outrage yesterday over the story of Trayon Christian, a 19-year-old black teen arrested after buying an expensive belt at Barneys because someone—whether it be store staff or security—allegedly thought he didn't look the part of a Barneys shopper. Barneys responded to the news, and to Christian's lawsuit, with a statement that read in part, "Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination and we stand by our long history in support of all human rights."
Today, the New York Post has testimony from another young black Barneys shopper who experienced a shockingly similar police response after purchasing a $2,500 Céline purse from the store in February. Kayla Phillips of Brooklyn, who is 21, used her debit card to buy the bag and then left the Madison Avenue store. On her walk to the subway, four undercover police officers "attacked" and detained her. Phillips says that the officers were asking her, "What are you doing here in Manhattan? Where'd you get the money to buy that expensive bag?" After showing them her debit card with ID, she was let go. She's now suing the NYPD.
The Brooklyn chapter of Al Sharpton's civil rights group is seeking a meeting with Barneys' CEO, ABC reports, and may picket the department store if "the alleged pattern of racial profiling does not stop."
· 'Barneys busted me for buying $2,500 bag' [NYP]
· Barneys New York: We Have 'Zero Tolerance for Discrimination' [Racked]
· Barneys Facing Suit After Discriminating Against Black Shopper [Racked]