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January 16, 2015
Barneys Accused Me Of Stealing Because I am Black: Teen
A black teenager is searching for justice — claiming snooty Barneys staffers and New York Metropolis cops racially profiled him for credit card fraud after he purchased a $349 belt.
Trayon Christian, 19, informed the Day by day News he filed a lawsuit after he was focused by staffers at Barneys’ Madison Ave. flagship retailer and detained by police as a result of they didn’t consider a young black man may presumably afford to purchase such an expensive belt.
The vogue-ahead teen, who lives with his mom in Corona, Queens, is studying engineering at the new York Metropolis School of Know-how, where he had a work-research job.
Christian said his paycheck ferragamo belt archives had simply been direct deposited into his Chase checking account, so he went straight to Barneys on the afternoon of April 29 to purchase the expensive Ferragamo belt with a silver buckle and a reversible black and white strap.
“I knew precisely what I needed,” Christian said. He’d seen the belt on lots of his favourite celebrities, including rapper Juelz Santana.
He said he’d browsed the ritzy rags at Barneys earlier than but had never bought something at the store.
“It was a quick trip. I gave them my debit card, I signed my title,” he said.
According to his lawsuit, the clerk requested Christian to show his ID, which he did.
“I confirmed my state ID,” he instructed The Information.
The clerk didn’t react as he signed for his buy and left, he mentioned.
However he got no more than a block from the store when two undercover NYPD detectives stopped him near E. 60th St.the lawsuit stated.
After buying a designer belt on the flaship Barneys division retailer in New York, Trayon Christian was detained and then arrested by undercover cops who the teen says told him the card needed to be fraudulent as a result of he could not have afforded the Ferragamo accessory.
“They mentioned my card wasn’t real, it was faux. They mentioned somebody at Barneys referred to as to report it,” said Christian.
The male detectives — whose names he never learned — requested to see ID and look in his bag, he said.
They also requested him if he labored, and where.
“I confirmed them my faculty ID and my driver’s license,” stated Christian, who was 18 when the incident allegedly occurred.
“I stored pondering, ‘Why is that this happening to me ’” he said.
“The detectives were asking me, ‘How could you afford a belt like this The place did you get this money from ’” he mentioned.
He was handcuffed and taken to the 19th Precinct stationhouse, he stated.
Based on his lawsuit, he was detained in a holding cell for about two hours.
He was then released along with his debit card, his belt and an apology from the police, Christian mentioned.
A spokeswoman for the NYPD denied Christian was detained for 2 hours, saying he was brought into the precinct at 7:04 p.m. and was allowed to leave at 7:Forty five p.m.
Exclusive Photograph: Trayon Christian is suing Barneys and the NYPD for racial profiling and false arrest after the belt-buying incident that got him arrested and jailed for a short time.
“Mr. Christian was held in police custody for roughly forty two minutes and as quickly as we decided that the card was genuine, he was instantly launched,” said Inspector Kim Royster.
He was never charged, in response to his attorney.
“I was nervous the whole time, however probably not scared as a result of I knew I had executed nothing mistaken,” stated the teen.
After he acquired home, he obtained offended.
“I introduced the belt back to Barneys a number of days later and returned it. I bought my money back, I’m not purchasing there once more,” he said. “It’s cruel. It’s racist.”
Calls to Barneys, which is led by CEO Mark Lee, weren’t returned.
The town Law Department said it hadn’t seen the court docket papers but.
“We are awaiting a formal copy of the lawsuit and will evaluate the claims upon receipt,” stated Elizabeth Thomas, a Regulation Division spokeswoman.
The NYPD mentioned it has gotten fifty three grand larceny complaints this 12 months for bank card fraud at Barneys’ Madison Ave. store and has made more than 47 arrests. However it’s unclear how lots of those arrested had been actually charged with a crime and what number of were, like Christian, launched.
Plainclothes officers visit Barneys periodically because of issues with fraudulent use of cards, the NYPD said.
The October 23, 2013 cowl of the NY Every day Information.
Christian’s legal professional Michael Palillo mentioned the teen, who now works at Target, has a clear document.
“He’s never been arrested. His only crime was being a young black guy shopping for a $300 belt,” the lawyer mentioned.
The student’s Facebook web page exhibits pictures of a fashion-loving teen. In some, Christian is sporting numerous belts with buckles encrusted with glittering “F’s” — but it’s not clear if they’re also Ferragamo items.
He’s also seen posing for selfies in a series of baseball caps that have been shade-coded to match his clothes, with a gold chain and an earring peeking out.
Christian’s mom, Selena Christian, mentioned she was outraged at the upscale store’s therapy of her son.
“Barneys mentioned his card was stolen, they stated he shouldn’t have that a lot money in his account,” mentioned the forty-year-old fashioned bus driver. “I am shocked. He’s a good kid.”
The hardworking mom could discover just one motive for her son to be singled out after he’d shown ID to the Barneys staffer.
“It’s because he’s an African-American,” she stated. “It’s incorrect. They shouldn’t have accomplished this.”
Being publicly questioned, searched and handcuffed and then detained in a police precinct cell caused Christian “great bodily and psychological distress and humiliation,” the lawsuit stated.
“His reputation and character were injured and he was embarrassed,” the court papers said.
The Salvatore Ferragamo belt at the center of Trayon Christian’s lawsuit retails for $349.
The incident was as a result of “negligence, careless[ness] and recklessness of Barneys” and the undercover detectives, the lawsuit alleges.
Christian is suing the NYPD and Barneys for unspecified damages.
With Rich Schapiro
Off-the-rack Barneys facts:
* Based in 1923 as a low cost men’s store by Barney Pressman.
* Did not introduce a women’s department until 1976.
* Was initially Barney’s Clothes, and then Barneys. The shop lost its apostrophe in 1981.
* First store outdoors of new York was opened in Seattle in 1990.
At center, Juelz Santana — carrying a Ferragamo belt just like the one Trayon Christian had coveted — attended the 2 Chainz album release occasion at Amnesia NYC in 2012.
* The chain went bankrupt in 1996, and emerged from bankruptcy in January 1999.
* Had no CEO between 2008 and 2010, when it was run by a seven-member executive board.
* Its Madison Ave. flagship retailer is greater than 250,000 square feet.
* The Pressman family bought the chain in 2004, and it has modified hands twice since then. It’s now owned by Perry ferragamo belt archives Capital.
* Lady Gaga designed a few of the flagship retailer’s vacation displays in 2011. Jay Z is teaming up with the store this year for a group and window show titled “New York Holiday.”
* The store’s 2012 “Electric Vacation” show brought about a kerfuffle when it featured rail thin model versions of Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck. The store famous the lanky versions of the stout stars were featured in a dream sequence, and that Minnie “happily awakens as her regular self.”
* * *
Meet the boss:
* Barneys CEO Mark Lee, 50, is a San Francisco native.
* Moved to New York in 1980 as an appearing pupil at New York College.
Barneys CEO Mark Lee. Calls to the department store searching for remark were not immediately returned.
* First trend gig was in 1984 as an assistant purchaser for Saks Fifth Avenue. Has since worked at Giorgio Armani, Yves St. Laurent and headed Gucci before landing Barneys gig.
* Wage is reportedly seven figures, with equity in the company.
* Took over the then-struggling chain in 2010 and has made it profitable once once more, with a reported $800 million in sales in 2012.
* As CEO, has targeted on streamlining the store’s model and making it higher-end.
Up to date: Barneys CEO releases assertion
Barneys New York believes that no customer ought to have the unacceptable expertise described in latest media stories, and we provide our honest regret and deepest apologies.
Further to our assertion of yesterday, we want to reinforce that Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination. We are a powerful proponent of equal rights and equal remedy for all human beings. Our mission is to make sure that all prospects receive the very best-high quality service—without exception.
To this end, we’re conducting a radical review of our practices and procedures as they relate to those matters to ensure that they mirror our continued commitment to fairness and equality. To steer this assessment, we’ve got retained a civil rights skilled, Michael Yaki, who additionally serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The Fee has been the nation’s watchdog for civil rights for greater than 50 years. Mr. Yaki will be provided with unrestricted access to all facets of our store operations.