“Shopping While Black:” the lawsuit

I’m sure you’ve all heard about what is far too cutely being called “shop and frisk” at Barney’s and Macy’s.

But since no news really exists until it’s covered by the New York Times…

Several months ago, a meeting was convened at Barneys New York to discuss a growing problem: A significant amount of inventory was being lost to theft. Something had to be done.

A new security management team instituted a more aggressive loss prevention strategy. Security personnel said they were encouraged to “take chances” in stopping suspicious customers, even if it meant intercepting innocent people. Bad grabs, they said they were told, were part of the business.

The number of contacts with the Police Department, made when security workers suspected a person had been shoplifting or engaging in credit card fraud, soon jumped drastically.

But along with the increase in cases, complaints began to surface from black shoppers who said they were victims of racial profiling in the store, on Madison Avenue. At least one shopper has filed a lawsuit against Barneys, and another plans to.

Here’s the whole story from yesterday’s Times:  Profiling Complaints by Black Shoppers Followed Changes to Stores’ Security Policies – NYTimes.com.

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