According to the New York Daily News, Robert Brown, star of the HBO show “Treme,” says he was shopping at Macy’s historic flagship store on June 18, 2013 when undercover detectives/police officers suddenly swarmed him.
Brown claims he was then “paraded” through the Herald Square Macy’s in handcuffs and detained for an hour because an employee was suspicious that the credit card he was using was fraudulent.
He has filed a suit against the store giant alleging that he was subjected to an “unlawful stop” and taken to a holding cell within the store where he was grilled about a purchase he’d made on the premises.
The cops accused Brown of making a purchase from Macy’s with a fraudulent and/or unauthorized debit/credit card. Brown showed his ID and his card to the officers to prove it was actually his but the officers told him the ID was,
“false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase.”
The officers allegedly rifled through Brown’s backpack and shopping bag, and kept him handcuffed before ultimately releasing him without any criminal charges filed.
The suit accuses Macy’s of having no facts that should have made them suspect that the identification or debit/credit card was fake, false, fraudulent, altered, tampered, or in any other way unlawful. It says the only proof the Macy’s store and police had for their allegations was that Brown was a young black man.
A spokesperson for Macy’s said in a statement,
“We are investigating the alleged claims, as we were just made aware of this lawsuit. We do not comment on matters in litigation.”
Brown’s allegations against Macy’s come just days after another high-end retailer, Barneys, was rocked by complaints it had racially profiled black shoppers for credit card fraud.
Helpful hint to all store clerks who feel that a person of color shouldn’t be able to afford the goods they are selling…you better make sure that person doesn’t have access to the media if you are wrong. Because now that the dirty little secret is out about this happening at high end stores it’s going to get reported again and again. You work in retail you don’t own the store…you have nothing to fall back on if you get sued. To think if clerks out here just treated shoppers like human beings instead of the enemy this could all be avoided.
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