Macy's faces another discrimination lawsuit
A number of shoppers say they have experienced racial profiling at the department store chain.
By Jim Probasco
In a discrimination lawsuit filed Friday, an African-American shopper said Macy's (M) security personnel stopped him after he bought a $2,400 Louis Vuitton bag and an alarm went off as he tried to exit the store.
Club promoter Halim Sharif said he was detained, and his bag searched, even as a half-dozen white customers left the store without being detained. Sharif said those customers also set off alarms at the store's 34th Street exit.
Sharif said he was the only person stopped and that he had cellphone audio and video to prove his claim.
The incident happened at Macy's historic flagship store on April 19, 2013.
Sharif told The New York Daily News, "It was as clear as black and white. There was no gray area. I saw people exit before me and after me -- and none of them looked like me. They lacked pigmentation."
The 37-year-old promoter, who indicated he was suing Macy's for unspecified damages, said he decided to speak up after reading accounts of four alleged instances of racial profiling at Macy's and another retailer, privately owned Barney's New York.
Brooklyn resident Kayla Phillips, who alleged she was racially profiled at Barney's in February, also filed a discrimination lawsuit Friday in Brooklyn Supreme Court, according to The Daily News.
Macy's, through a representative, said the company was looking into Sharif's allegation, but would have no comment due to the fact litigation was pending.
According to the representative, "Macy's has a zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind. If Macy's policies have not been upheld, we will take swift and immediate action."
The two stores named in the lawsuits said New York Police Department officers were the culprits in earlier incidents, targeting black shoppers, including Phillips, Trayon Christian, Rob Brown, and Art Palmer.
The department said its officers were merely acting on information provided by store employees.
Meanwhile, Macy's was among several retailers that signed a customer 'bill of rights' earlier in December. Civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, met with retailer representatives to draft the document, which is to be posted on participating department store websites.
In addition to Macy's, other signatories include Barneys New York, Macy's-owned Bloomingdale's, and Hudson's Bay Company subsidiaries Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue.
At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.
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I am an ill-american. ill because I am sick to death of an endless stream of "I am a victim, I am going to sue news"
Frankly I believe very little of it, much like the rest of the "news"
Why is it ALWAYS black against white!
Blacks are more racist than any and are always pulling the race card.
I too am so sick of this "African -American" crap. You are American. Plain and simple.
If Africa means so much go back and help the country become a better place.
All our ancestors came from somewhere else with the exception of the Native American.
Last week at a nationwide department store, the alarm went off as I was exiting the store. A clerk asked me to step back to the counter, which I did, and I let them go through my bag. They found an item that had been paid for that the clerk forgot to take the security device off before bagging it for me. Not once did I claim harassment nor did I whip out my phone to record everything. Does not matter what sex or color I am, I did nothing wrong and knew it would be handled professionally and properly if I didn't make a scene. I left with an apology from the clerk that bagged my items and exited this time without the alarm sounding. Life goes on & no lawsuit needed.
With the increased prices to cover shoplifting thefts, I will do what I can to accommodate the store and its staff to make sure theft is not happening. If someone is being stereotyped because of their sex, religion or nationality...then I agree that is wrong. Don't act like a thief or an a** hole and maybe you won't be treated like one...IMO.
Was Sharif born in Africa. If not, then he is not an African-American. They searched the bag, ok! Maybe the European-Whites did not have bags out of a store bag. Hell, this was back in April for God's sake.
Come on, this guy is a racist himself. I for one am so sick of the gay/lesbian and racism articles published on MSN.
The real crime of Macy's is the high finance and late charges assessed credit card holders.
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The company complains after the son of Florida State's football coach is televised wearing -- gasp -- Under Armour.
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