NEW YORK (AP) — No Macy’s employees were involved in the detention or questioning of a black actor who claims he was stopped because of his race while shopping at the flagship Manhattan department store, Macy’s officials said Sunday.
Rob Brown, a black actor who stars on the HBO series “Treme,” has said he was detained nearly an hour by police on June 8 after employees contacted authorities about possible credit card fraud. The actor has filed a lawsuit.
In a statement, Macy’s said there was no record of any employee contacting authorities about Brown’s purchase of a luxury Movado watch. The store said police officers requested use of a room in the building and that request was granted.
The store said it was reaching out to Brown, and continuing to investigate the situation.
Brown’s account comes after two black shoppers said they were racially profiled at Barneys New York.
Trayon Christian sued Barneys, saying he was accused of fraud after using his debit card to buy a $349 Ferragamo belt in April. Kayla Philips filed a notice of claim saying she would sue after she was stopped by detectives outside the store when she bought a $2,500 Celine handbag in February.
As the criticism grew, Barneys said it had retained a civil rights expert to help review its procedures. The CEO of Barneys, Mark Lee, offered his “sincere regret and deepest apologies.”
Kirsten John Foy, an official with the National Action Network, led by civil rights activist, the Rev. Al Sharpton, said he would meet with Barneys officials on Tuesday to discuss the racial profiling allegations.
The allegations have led to pressure on rap mogul Jaz-Z to back out of a holiday season collaboration with Barneys. An online petition and Twitter messages from fans have been circulating, calling on the star to bow out of his upcoming partnership with Barneys, which will have the store selling items by top designers, inspired by Jay-Z, with some of the proceeds going to his charity to provide college scholarships to economically challenged students. He is also working with the store to create its artistic holiday window display.
Jaz-Z — whose real name is Shawn Carter — said in a statement posted Saturday on his website that he’s being unfairly “demonized” for just waiting to hear all of the facts.
“I move and speak based on facts and not emotion,” the statement from Jaz-Z said. “I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?” he said, referring to local newspaper headlines.
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