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Upper West Side Apple Store Sued for Racial Discrimination

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Apple Store headphones via <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattbuchanan/4098236751/">mattbuchanan</a>/Flickr
Apple Store headphones via mattbuchanan/Flickr

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Two black male would-be customers have filed suit against the Upper West Side Apple Store, alleging that employees at the store kicked them out because of their race. Plaintiffs Brian Johnston and Nile Charles walked into the Apple store one afternoon this past December, clad in "baggy jeans and large sweaters with hoods." They were looking for a pair of headphones, according to the suit, but before they could buy anything, a burly Apple employee confronted them, told them "You know the deal," and then insisted that they leave. Here's where the suit gets crazy: Johnson and Charles report that the employee added "And before you say I'm racially discriminating against you, let me stop you. I am discriminating against you."

That, of course, is when both men decided to record the conversation on their phones. The suit alleges that another employee then approached and also began trying to kick them out. "If you want to know why," he said, "it's because I said so. CONSIDER ME GOD. You have to go." When the men asked to speak to a manager, they were ignored, so they found one themselves and complained that they were being profiled. The manager responded by asking Apple's Head of Security to call 911.

Johnston and Charles have accused Apple of discrimination under both federal and state laws, and are looking for punitive damages. They initially sued in February in the New York Supreme Court, but the case began receiving attention after it moved to the U.S. District court earlier this month.
· Lawsuit accuses Broadway Apple Store of discrimination [Apple Insider]
· Upper West Side Apple Sued For Discrimination [My Upper West]

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