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Barneys Accused Me Of Stealing As a result of I’m Black: Teen

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

Trayon Christian, 19, instructed the Day by day News he filed a lawsuit after he was focused by staffers at Barneys’ Madison Ave. flagship store and detained by police as a result of they didn’t consider a young black man could possibly afford to buy such an costly belt.

The fashion-ahead teen, who lives along with his mother in Corona, Queens, is learning engineering at the new York City College of Technology, the place he had a work-examine job.

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

“I knew exactly what I needed,” Christian mentioned. 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 before but had by no means bought something at the shop.
“It was a quick trip. I gave them my debit card, I signed my name,” he mentioned.

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

The clerk manhasset ferragamo didn’t react as he signed for his buy and left, he said.
But he acquired no more than a block from the shop when two undercover NYPD detectives stopped him close to E. 60th St.the lawsuit mentioned.

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

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

The male detectives — whose names he by no means realized — requested to see ID and look in his bag, he mentioned.

They also asked 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 stored considering, ‘Why is this taking place to me ’” he stated.
“The detectives were asking me, ‘How could you afford a belt like this Where did you get this cash from ’” he stated.

He was handcuffed and taken to the 19th Precinct stationhouse, he mentioned.
In response to his lawsuit, he was detained in a holding cell for about two hours.

He was then launched along 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 depart at 7:45 p.m.

Unique Photograph: Trayon Christian is suing Barneys and the NYPD for racial profiling and false arrest after the belt-buying incident that acquired him arrested and jailed for a short time.

“Mr. Christian was held in police custody for roughly 42 minutes and as quickly as we decided that the card was authentic, he was immediately launched,” stated Inspector Kim Royster.

He was never charged, in line with his attorney.
“I was nervous the whole time, however not likely scared as a result of I knew I had done nothing mistaken,” said the teen.

After he acquired residence, he got angry.
“I brought the belt back to Barneys a number of days later and returned it. I acquired my money again, I’m not procuring there again,” he stated. “It’s cruel. 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 but.

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

The NYPD mentioned it has gotten 53 grand larceny complaints this year for manhasset ferragamo credit card fraud at Barneys’ Madison Ave. store and has made more than forty seven arrests. However it’s unclear how lots of those arrested were really charged with against the law and how many were, like Christian, released.

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

The October 23, 2013 cover of the NY Each day Information.
Christian’s legal professional Michael Palillo mentioned the teen, who now works at Target, has a clean file.

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

The student’s Facebook page exhibits footage of a vogue-loving teen. In some, Christian is sporting numerous 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 collection of baseball caps which were coloration-coded to match his clothes, with a gold chain and an earring peeking out.

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

“Barneys stated his card was stolen, they stated he shouldn’t have that a lot cash in his account,” mentioned the forty-yr-old-fashioned bus driver. “I am shocked. He’s a very good kid.”

The hardworking mother could find only one reason for her son to be singled out after he’d shown 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 accomplished this.”

Being publicly questioned, searched and handcuffed and then detained in a police precinct cell caused Christian “great physical and psychological distress and humiliation,” the lawsuit mentioned.

“His popularity and character have been injured and he was embarrassed,” the court papers stated.
The Salvatore Ferragamo belt at the center 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 low cost males’s store by Barney Pressman.
* Didn’t introduce a women’s department until 1976.

* Was initially Barney’s Clothes, and then Barneys. The store lost its apostrophe in 1981.
* First store outdoors of recent 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 release 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 govt board.

* Its Madison Ave. flagship store is more than 250,000 sq. ft.
* The Pressman family sold the chain in 2004, and it has changed hands twice since then. It is now owned by Perry Capital.

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

* The shop’s 2012 “Electric Holiday” display brought about a kerfuffle when it featured rail skinny mannequin versions of Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck. The shop famous the lanky variations 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 appearing scholar at New York College.

Barneys CEO Mark Lee. Calls to the department store looking for remark were not immediately returned.
* First style gig was in 1984 as an assistant purchaser for Saks Fifth Avenue. Has since worked at Giorgio Armani, Yves St. Laurent and headed Gucci before landing Barneys gig.

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

* As CEO, has targeted on streamlining the store’s brand and making it higher-end.
Updated: Barneys CEO releases assertion

Barneys New York believes that no buyer should have the unacceptable experience described in current media stories, and we offer our sincere regret and deepest apologies.

Additional to our statement of yesterday, we want to reinforce that Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination. We are a robust proponent of equal rights and equal treatment for all human beings. Our mission is to make sure that each one customers receive the highest-quality service—without exception.


To this end, we are conducting an intensive evaluation of our practices and procedures as they relate to these matters to ensure that they mirror our continued commitment to fairness and equality. To lead this assessment, we’ve retained a civil rights knowledgeable, 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 provided with unrestricted access to all facets of our retailer operations.

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