Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Attorney Michael Yaki, who serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, has completed an independent internal review of the recent racial profiling claims brought on Barneys. He found that store employees did not "request, require, nor initiate" any police action in either of the recent cases. His report, released yesterday, makes clear that there is no written or unwritten policy "to engage in racial profiling in the Loss Prevention department. To the contrary, the Loss Prevention department has a formal antiracial profiling policy."
According to the report, in the case of Trayon Christian, the teenager purchasing a $350 Ferragamo belt, NYPD officers were in Barneys' security control room for an arrest of another individual charged with credit card fraud at the time of Trayon's transaction. They thought he was being "too fast" in the sale, a sign of fraudulent activity. They stopped him before he left the store, but were not under the store's advisory to do so.
When Kayla Phillips was shopping for her $2,500 Celine bag, officers had dropped into the store unscheduled, as they do periodically. They watched her transaction on camera. The sales associate who helped her didn't recall anything fishy about the sale.
Now the ball is in the NYPD's court. The police department's chief spokesman said, "In both instances, NYPD officers were conducting unrelated investigations and took action after conferring with Barneys employees while in their security room." They plan to investigate further.
· Barneys' Attorney Finds No Wrongdoing [WWD]
· Mark Lee: Barneys Staff Not Guilty of Racial Profiling [Racked NY]
· Queens Teen Slaps Barneys With Discrimination Suit [Racked NY]