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Barneys Accused Me Of Stealing Because I am Black: Teen

A black teenager is purchasing for justice — claiming snooty Barneys staffers and New York Metropolis cops racially profiled him for bank card fraud after he bought a $349 belt.

Trayon Christian, 19, instructed the Daily 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 might probably afford to purchase such an expensive belt.

The style-ahead teen, who lives together with his mom in Corona, Queens, is learning engineering at the brand new York Metropolis School of Know-how, where he had a work-study job.

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

“I knew exactly what I wanted,” Christian stated. He’d seen the belt on plenty of his favorite celebrities, together with rapper Juelz Santana.

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

Based on his lawsuit, the clerk asked Christian to indicate his ID, which he did.
“I confirmed my state ID,” he told The News.

The clerk didn’t react as he signed for his purchase and left, he said.
But he received not more than a block from the store when two undercover NYPD detectives stopped him near E. 60th St.the lawsuit mentioned.

After buying a designer belt at the flaship Barneys department retailer in New York, Trayon Christian was detained and then arrested by undercover cops who the teen says advised him the card had to be fraudulent because he could not have afforded the Ferragamo accessory.

“They stated my card wasn’t real, it was fake. They stated somebody at Barneys called to report it,” mentioned Christian.

The male detectives — whose names he never realized — asked to see ID and look in his bag, he said.

In addition they requested him if he labored, and the place.
“I showed them my faculty ID and my driver’s license,” mentioned Christian, who was 18 when the incident allegedly occurred.

“I kept thinking, ‘Why is this occurring to me ’” he stated.
“The detectives were asking me, ‘How may you afford a belt like this The place did you get this 5_June cash from ’” he mentioned.

He was handcuffed and taken to the nineteenth Precinct stationhouse, he said.
According to 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 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 Picture: Trayon Christian is suing Barneys and the NYPD for racial profiling and false arrest after the belt-shopping for incident that obtained 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 determined that the card was genuine, he was immediately released,” stated Inspector Kim Royster.

He was by no means charged, based on his lawyer.
“I was nervous the entire time, however not likely scared because I knew I had accomplished nothing fallacious,” stated the teen.

After he bought house, he bought angry.
“I introduced the belt back to Barneys a few days later and returned it. I acquired my cash again, I’m not purchasing there again,” he mentioned. “It’s merciless. It’s racist.”

Calls to Barneys, which is led by CEO Mark Lee, weren’t returned.
Town Law Department said it hadn’t seen the court papers yet.

“We are awaiting a formal copy of the lawsuit and can review the claims upon receipt,” stated Elizabeth Thomas, a Law Department spokeswoman.

The NYPD said it has gotten 53 grand larceny complaints this 12 months for credit card fraud at Barneys’ Madison Ave. retailer and has made more than forty seven arrests. However it’s unclear how lots of those arrested had been really charged with a criminal offense and what number of had been, like Christian, launched.

Plainclothes officers go to Barneys periodically because of problems with fraudulent use of cards, the NYPD said.

The October 23, 2013 cover of the NY Every day News.
Christian’s attorney Michael Palillo mentioned the teen, who now works at Goal, has a clear file.

“He’s by no means been arrested. His solely crime was being a younger black man shopping for a $300 belt,” the lawyer stated.

The student’s Fb web page exhibits photos of a vogue-loving teen. In some, Christian is sporting numerous belts with buckles encrusted with glittering “F’s” — however it’s not clear if they are additionally Ferragamo objects.

He’s additionally seen posing for selfies in a series of baseball caps which have been colour-coded to match his clothes, with a gold chain and an earring peeking out.

Christian’s mother, Selena Christian, mentioned she was outraged on the upscale store’s treatment of her son.

“Barneys stated his card was stolen, they said he shouldn’t have that much cash in his account,” mentioned the forty-year-old school bus driver. “I am shocked. He’s an excellent child.”

The hardworking mother might find only one cause for her son to be singled out after he’d proven ID to the Barneys staffer.

“It’s as a result of he’s an African-American,” she mentioned. “It’s improper. They shouldn’t have achieved this.”

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

“His popularity and character were injured and he was embarrassed,” the court papers stated.
The Salvatore Ferragamo belt at the middle 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 Wealthy Schapiro

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

* Founded in 1923 as a low cost males’s store by Barney Pressman.
* Did not introduce a women’s department until 1976.

* Was originally Barney’s Clothes, and then Barneys. The store lost its apostrophe in 1981.
* First retailer outside 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 launch get together 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 sq. feet.
* The Pressman family offered the chain in 2004, and it has changed palms twice since then. It’s now owned by Perry Capital.

* Lady Gaga designed some of the flagship retailer’s holiday shows in 2011. Jay Z is teaming up with the store this yr for a group and window display titled “New York Holiday.”

* The shop’s 2012 “Electric Vacation” show prompted a kerfuffle when it featured rail thin model versions of Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck. The store noted the lanky variations of the stout stars were featured in a dream sequence, and that Minnie “happily awakens as her normal self.”

* * *
Meet the boss:

* Barneys CEO Mark Lee, 50, is a San Francisco native.
* Moved to New York salvatore ferragamo belt real in 1980 as an appearing scholar at New York University.

Barneys CEO Mark Lee. Calls to the division store looking for comment weren’t instantly returned.
* First trend gig was in 1984 as an assistant buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue. Has since worked at Giorgio Armani, Yves St. Laurent and headed Gucci earlier than touchdown Barneys gig.

* Wage is reportedly seven figures, with equity in the company.
* Took over the then-struggling chain in 2010 and has made it worthwhile as soon as once more, with a reported $800 million in gross sales in 2012.

* As CEO, has focused on streamlining the store’s brand and making it greater-finish.
Up to date: Barneys CEO releases assertion

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

Additional to our assertion of yesterday, we want to reinforce that Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any type of discrimination. We are a robust proponent of equal rights and equal therapy for all human beings. Our mission is to make sure that every one clients receive the very best-quality service—without exception.

Ferragamo Mediterraneo Continental Wallet RedTo this end, we are conducting an intensive evaluation of our practices and procedures as they relate to these issues to ensure that they reflect our continued commitment to fairness and equality. To lead this evaluation, now we have retained a civil rights professional, Michael Yaki, who additionally serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The Commission has been the nation’s watchdog for civil rights for greater than 50 years. Mr. Yaki shall be supplied with unrestricted access to all points of our store operations.

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