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Barneys Accused Me Of Stealing Because I am Black: Teen

A black teenager is searching for justice — claiming snooty Barneys staffers and New York City cops racially profiled him for credit card fraud after he purchased a $349 belt.

Trayon Christian, 19, instructed the Every day Information he filed a lawsuit after he was targeted 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 costly belt.

The fashion-forward teen, who lives together with his mom in Corona, Queens, is learning engineering at the new York Metropolis Faculty of Expertise, the place he had a work-examine job.

Christian mentioned his paycheck had just been direct deposited into his Chase bank account, so he went straight to ferragamo cufflin Barneys on the afternoon of April 29 to purchase the pricey Ferragamo belt with a silver buckle and a reversible black and white strap.

“I knew exactly what I wished,” Christian stated. He’d seen the belt on a whole lot of his favourite celebrities, including rapper Juelz Santana.

He stated he’d browsed the ritzy rags at Barneys earlier than however had by no means purchased something at the shop.
“It was a fast trip. I gave them my debit card, I signed my identify,” he stated.

In accordance with his lawsuit, the clerk requested Christian to indicate his ID, which he did.
“I showed my state ID,” he told The News.

The clerk didn’t react as he signed for his purchase and left, he mentioned.
However he acquired no more than a block from the store when two undercover NYPD detectives stopped him near E. 60th St.the lawsuit said.

After shopping for a designer belt at the flaship Barneys department store in New York, Trayon Christian was detained after which arrested by undercover cops who the teen says instructed him the card needed to be fraudulent because he couldn’t have afforded the Ferragamo accessory.

“They mentioned my card wasn’t actual, it was faux. They said someone at Barneys called to report it,” mentioned Christian.

The male detectives — whose names he by no means learned — asked to see ID and look in his bag, he said.

They also asked him if he labored, and the place.
“I confirmed them my school ID and my driver’s license,” mentioned Christian, who was 18 when the incident allegedly occurred.

“I kept thinking, ‘Why is this taking place to me ’” he stated.
“The detectives were asking me, ‘How might you afford a belt like this Where did you get this money from ’” he said.

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 launched together with his debit card, his belt and an apology from the police, Christian said.
A spokeswoman for the NYPD denied Christian was detained for 2 hours, saying he was introduced into the precinct at 7:04 p.m. and was allowed to leave at 7:45 p.m.

Exclusive Picture: Trayon Christian is suing Barneys and the NYPD for racial profiling and false arrest after the belt-shopping for incident that received him arrested and jailed for a short while.

“Mr. Christian was held in police custody for roughly 42 minutes and as soon as we decided that the card was genuine, he was instantly released,” said Inspector Kim Royster.

He was never charged, in keeping with his attorney.
“I was nervous the whole time, however not really scared because I knew I had executed nothing incorrect,” stated the teen.

After he bought residence, he got angry.
“I brought the belt back to Barneys a few days later and returned it. I got my money again, I’m not shopping there once more,” he stated. “It’s cruel. It’s racist.”

Calls to Barneys, which is led by CEO Mark Lee, weren’t returned.
Town Regulation Division said it hadn’t seen the courtroom papers but.

“We are awaiting a formal copy of the lawsuit and will overview the claims upon receipt,” mentioned Elizabeth Thomas, a Law Division spokeswoman.

The NYPD stated it has gotten fifty three grand larceny complaints this ferragamo cufflin yr for credit card fraud at Barneys’ Madison Ave. store and has made more than forty seven arrests. But it’s unclear how a lot of these arrested were actually charged with a crime and how many had been, like Christian, launched.

Plainclothes officers visit Barneys periodically due to issues with fraudulent use of cards, the NYPD mentioned.

The October 23, 2013 cowl of the NY Every day Information.
Christian’s lawyer Michael Palillo said the teen, who now works at Target, has a clear report.

“He’s never been arrested. His only crime was being a young black guy buying a $300 belt,” the lawyer mentioned.

The student’s Fb web page reveals pictures of a trend-loving teen. In some, Christian is sporting various belts with buckles encrusted with glittering “F’s” — but it’s not clear if they are additionally Ferragamo items.

He’s additionally seen posing for selfies in a sequence of baseball caps which have been color-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 treatment of her son.

“Barneys said his card was stolen, they stated he shouldn’t have that much money in his account,” mentioned the 40-year-old skool bus driver. “I am shocked. He’s a great child.”

The hardworking mom could find only one reason 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 flawed. They shouldn’t have finished this.”

Being publicly questioned, searched and handcuffed after which detained in a police precinct cell prompted Christian “great bodily and psychological distress and humiliation,” the lawsuit mentioned.

“His fame and character had been injured and he was embarrassed,” the court docket papers mentioned.
The Salvatore Ferragamo belt at the middle of Trayon Christian’s lawsuit retails for $349.

The incident was due to the “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

[email protected]
Off-the-rack Barneys details:

* Based in 1923 as a discount males’s retailer by Barney Pressman.
* Didn’t introduce a women’s department till 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 heart, Juelz Santana — sporting a Ferragamo belt just like the one Trayon Christian had coveted — attended the 2 Chainz album launch party 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 ft.
* The Pressman household offered the chain in 2004, and it has modified arms twice since then. It is now owned by Perry Capital.

* Lady Gaga designed among the flagship retailer’s vacation displays in 2011. Jay Z is teaming up with the store this year for a set and window show titled “New York Holiday.”

* The store’s 2012 “Electric Vacation” display precipitated a kerfuffle when it featured rail skinny model variations of Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck. The shop 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 acting student at New York College.

Barneys CEO Mark Lee. Calls to the department store in search of remark weren’t immediately returned.
* First vogue gig was in 1984 as an assistant purchaser for Saks Fifth Avenue. Has since labored at Giorgio Armani, Yves St. Laurent and headed Gucci before touchdown Barneys gig.

* Salary 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 focused on streamlining the store’s brand and making it greater-finish.
Up to date: Barneys CEO releases statement

Barneys New York believes that no customer ought to have the unacceptable experience described in latest media stories, and we provide our honest remorse and deepest apologies.

Further to our assertion of yesterday, we need to reinforce that Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any type of discrimination. We’re a strong proponent of equal rights and equal treatment for all human beings. Our mission is to make sure that every one prospects receive the very best-quality service—without exception.

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To this end, we are conducting a radical evaluate of our practices and procedures as they relate to those issues to ensure that they replicate our continued dedication to fairness and equality. To steer this overview, we have now retained a civil rights skilled, Michael Yaki, who additionally serves on the U.S. Vanessa_Moody Commission on Civil Rights. The Commission has been the nation’s watchdog for civil rights for more than 50 years. Mr. Yaki will probably be supplied with unrestricted entry to all aspects of our store operations.

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