*Civil rights spokesman Rev. Al Sharpton held a private meeting, after twisting some arms, with the CEO of Barneys Tuesday to discuss allegations of racial profiling made by two African American shoppers who lawfully purchased items from the high-end retailer but were detained by authorities on suspicion of credit card fraud, reports the AP via ABC News.
The New York state attorney general’s office demanded its own meeting with Barneys and also Macy’s.
“We had a very candid and open meeting today to begin a dialogue,” Sharpton said after the private meeting with Barneys CEO Mark Lee at the office of his National Action Network office in Harlem.
Lee explained Barneys’ own initial investigation showed no employees were at fault in the two incidents, but he said the retailer does not tolerate discrimination and wants “to be part of the solution” to racial profiling.
Macy’s flagship Manhattan store also has been accused of discriminatory practices from Rob Brown, a black actor, who claims that he was stopped because of his race while shopping. Macy’s didn’t comment on the litigation but said in a statement it was investigating.
Lee also addressed Barneys’ pending relationship with rap mogul Jay-Z, who has faced ample public-pressure to sever ties with the retailer since the profiling allegations emerged.
“We deeply regret that these recent events have distracted from the great work of the Shawn Carter Foundation, and we offer our sincere apologies to Mr. Carter,” Lee said, using the entertainer’s real name.
Read/learn more at ABC News.
Meanwhile, as briefly mentioned above, actor Rob Brown (HBO’s “Treme”) says he was the victim of racial profiling at Macy’s Dept. Store. He explained what happened Tuesday night on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360”: