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More Lawsuits: Actor Suing Macy's for Discrimination

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Photo by Brian Harkin
Photo by Brian Harkin

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After two Barneys customers sued the famed department store earlier this week for racial profiling, an actor has filed suit against Macy's for allegedly being unlawfully held in the store's jail after making a purchase from its Sunglass Hut.

Rob Brown, who starred opposite Sean Connery in 2000's Finding Forrester and most recently appeared in HBO's Treme and Don Jon, said that undercover cops arrested and illegally searched him immediately after purchasing a watch on June 8th.

"The bottom line is?this isn't about money, this about proving a point," John Eleftrekais, Brown's attorney, told the New York Post. After Brown showed ID, according to the suit, police said it "was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase." Brown, who is also suing the NYPD, was released without charges after an hour in the store jail.

As for Barneys, Queens teen Trayon Christian claims undercover cops followed him out of the store after purchasing a $349 Ferragamo belt with his own debit card. Christian says he was detained for more than two hours, and that the officers in question asked him "how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt."

The day after that story broke, 21-year-old Brooklyn resident Kayla Phillips said that four undercover cops "attacked" her in the subway after purchasing a $2,500 Céline bag. Her mother, Wendy Straker, said "the police were clearly on the phone with a Barneys rep who was feeding them information about her daughter's transaction."

Barneys was quick to comment on the news, saying in part that "after carefully reviewing the incident of last April, it is clear that no employee of Barneys New York was involved in the pursuit of any action with the individual other than the sale."

In light of these outrageous events, our sister site is reporting that a Change.org petition has been launched to convince Jay Z to abandon his upcoming holiday collaboration with the department store. The rapper has yet to respond.

In the meantime, Barneys CEO Mark Lee has agreed to meet with representatives of Al Sharpton's National Action Network in Brooklyn, who had planned to picket the store. The department store also published a letter in response to the recent allegations on their Facebook page—read it in full here.—Laura Gurfein
·Barneys CEO Mark Lee To Meet With Brooklyn Civil Rights Group [Racked NY]
·Hollywood Star: I Was Racially Profiled At Macy's [NYPost]
·Brooklyn Woman Claims Barneys Also Racially Profiled Her [Racked NY]
·Updated: Queens Teen Slaps Barneys With Discrimination Suit [Racked NY]

Macy's

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