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Racial Profiling Cost Barneys $525,000

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Photo by Brian Harkin
Photo by Brian Harkin

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Last fall, a young black man was arrested after buying an expensive Ferragamo belt at Barneys New York. The man, Trayon Christian, had saved up from his part-time job to buy the accessory, which he had seen on one of his favorite rappers. Even though Christian had proof of purchase and ID, police (who had reportedly been called by the Barneys cashier) took him to a local precinct and held him. After the case made national headlines, another shopper came forward with similar allegations.

The cases of both of the shoppers have now been settled, and Barneys has been found at fault for racially profiling shoppers. After a nine-month investigation, it was concluded that the store, "maintained inadequate records of stops made by their loss-prevention employees, but despite these lapses, existing records showed a disproportionate number of African-American and Latino customers being detained for alleged shoplifting or credit card fraud." The retailer is out $525,000 in costs, fees and penalties and must enact new loss-prevention policies, among other actions.
· Barneys Settles Racial Profiling Cases [WWD, sub req]
· New York Department Stores Agree to 'Customer Bill of Rights' [Racked]
· Barneys Apologized to Jay Z for 'the Distraction' [Racked]
· Barneys Rep Agrees to Meet With Brooklyn Civil Rights Leaders [Racked]