Shaquille O’Neal is back with a new menswear line with Macy’s.
The collection –“The Shaquille O’Neal collection” – are suits with separate jackets and sports jackets.
The collection has a focus on big to tall — fitting men in his body type.
*Los Angeles – Several hundred people braved light drizzles to attend Macy’s Black History Month Celebration at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. The fantastic event was held on Thursday, February 6, 2014.
The event was titled “Eras of Style” with a program “In Conversation” featuring a panel discussion hosted by Macy’s own Caprice Willard, joined by journalist and style expert Constance C.R. White and super model Beverly Johnson.
*A coalition of high-end retailers and civil rights leaders came up with a “bill of rights” to protect customers from “shop-and-frisk” practices, reports the New York Daily News.
The list was released to the media after getting final approval Monday morning at a meeting that included the Rev. Al Sharpton and executives from Barneys, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor and other department stores.
But the issue won’t be fully resolved until the coalition gets the NYPD to participate, he said.
“We cannot have an agreement with the NYPD without the incoming commissioner saying, ‘We agree to that,’ ” said Sharpton, who has reached out to newly appointed Police Commissioner Bill Bratton for a sitdown.
While Bratton has yet to comment, a spokeswoman for Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio said the commissioner-designate would be happy to meet with the group.
“Mayor-elect de Blasio has said repeatedly that his administration will have zero tolerance for racial profiling of any kind,” said spokeswoman Lis Smith, adding that de Blasio “deeply appreciates” the retailers’ willingness to adopt the new policies.
The bill of rights says that store employees who racially profile customers can be disciplined and possibly even fired. Vulgar language or excessive force while detaining suspects are prohibited. Employees are required to “respect the basic civil and legal rights of any person suspected” of a crime, the list says. Stores will be subject to internal tests to make sure they are in compliance — and the regulations must be applied nationwide, not just in department stores in New York City.
Rules must be “highly visible,” said Kirsten John Foy, head of Brooklyn’s National Action Network chapter. “We left it to each store to figure out their specifics for posting, but it must be posted in common areas, available upon request and clearly placed on store websites.”
Retailers have a week to get the information online and in stores — and some have even pledged to run ads publicizing the bill of rights to customers, said Foy.
“The message I think is very simple,” said Ed Goldberg, Macy’s vice president. “We understand the gravity of the situation. . . . We subscribe to the document that’s going to be released by the retail council.”
Monday’s “shop-and-frisk” forum grew out of racial profiling allegations that surfaced in October at Barneys and Macy’s. Four black shoppers alleged they were wrongfully stopped by NYPD detectives after buying pricey items at the stores.
The initial allegations were made by Trayon Christian, 19, and Kayla Phillips, 21, in October against Barneys. Both shoppers claimed they were wrongfully accused of debit card fraud by undercover NYPD detectives after buying pricey items in the upscale store.
Two more black shoppers stepped forward with similar claims against Macy’s. “Treme” star Rob Brown, 29, and Art Palmer, 56, a personal trainer, both said they were stopped by cops after shopping at the department store.
Both Barneys and Macy’s denied any racial profiling and pinned the blame on cops. NYPD spokesman John McCarthy has said detectives reacted to information given to them by store employees in each instance.
*Civil rights leaders and executives from New York’s Retail Council pulled together a list Monday of representatives to sit on a special racial-profiling task force, reports the New York Daily News. The Rev. Al Sharpton had given industry leaders the weekend to create the working committee.
John Harper, president of store operations for Macy’s, and a Barneys executive have both agreed to sit on the panel. Several other major retailers are represented, said Ted Potrikus, vice president of the state Retail Council. Civil rights leaders have also sent him a list of their members who will join the working committee, he said. The two groups will communicate via email and conference calls over the holidays, with a target date of Dec. 4 to present findings and recommendations at a second “shop-and-frisk” forum.
The push for a working group to clarify store policies and establish monitors to watch for racial profiling grew out of Friday’s meeting in a Midtown church between civil rights advocates and store heads. The “shop-and-frisk” scandal started last month when two black shoppers accused Barneys and the NYPD of racially profiling them as they shopped at the upscale store.
Two other black shoppers have made similar allegations against Macy’s.
*TMZ is reporting that “Treme” star Robert Brown has filed a lawsuit against Macy’s in New York for racial profiling.
As previously reported, the actor says he bought his mom a $1,300 Movado watch as a graduation present in June at Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square.
Brown says after his purchase, he went on the hunt for a pair of sunglasses when he was stopped in the middle of the store by three white guys who he believes were NYPD cops.
Brown claims the officers began to “publicly and falsely” accuse him of committing credit card fraud. He says he was then cuffed and paraded around the store “like an already convicted common criminal.”
Brown says he was then thrown into a holding cell and berated for an hour.
When cops realized who he was, Brown says he was released. And, Brown claims, cops then tried to whitewash the situation by offering to give him a police escort to his mom’s graduation.
Brown says this has been a big problem with Macy’s so he’s filed it as a class action lawsuit.
*The Jay Z fan who started a Change.org petition urging the rapper to break with Barneys New York in the wake of its racial profiling scandal said Monday that he did not mean to target the singer.
“As a lifelong Jay Z fan, the petition is and was not meant to be antagonistic to him,” Derick Bowers told ABCNews.com. The petition has grown to 16,700 signatories.
“My hope is that this campaign — and Jay Z’s engagement with Barneys — can turn this situation into a powerful moment to actually address the issue of not only racial profiling, but profiling in general. Along with over 16,000 supporters of this campaign, I hope that Jay Z will work with us and consumers affected by discrimination to help Barneys clean up its act,” Bowers said.
Barneys and Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, are set to introduce a collection of high-end merchandise created especially for Barneys by the rapper. Proceeds from the collaboration will benefit his Shawn Carter Foundation, which provides college scholarships for minority students.
Over the weekend, Jay Z said he had not “made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys.” The mogul defended his relationship with the high end retailer, saying he was “no stranger to being profiled,” and empathized with people who had been.
“Hopefully this brings forth a dialogue to effect real change,” he said in the statement posted on his website.
Meanwhile, attorney Kareem Vessup, who intends to sue Barneys for allegedly racially profiling a customer, claims he is receiving additional calls from people who say they were also mistreated by the store.
“I have received some phone calls from individuals who claim they have been mistreated at Barneys as well,” Vessup told ABCNews.com today. The lawyer declined to say how many calls from alleged Barneys customers he has received before he investigates these claims.
Vessup has already filed notice that he intends to sue Barneys for $5 million on behalf of Kayla Phillips, 21, of Brooklyn who claims she was mistreated after buying a $2,500 Celine handbag. But Vessup said the exact amount of damages is “ongoing” and unknown at this time.
“I don’t know anyone whose constitutional rights have been violated and feel it’s insignificant,” he said.
Phillips filed noticed that she was suing after Trayon Christian of Queens, N.Y., said he was detained and questioned when he bought an expensive belt at Barneys. Christian filed suit Oct. 11, accusing the store of racial profiling.
Barneys said in a statement last week that while the store ordinarily does not comment on pending litigation, it was making an exception in this case. The company declined to comment further on Phillips’ pending lawsuit.
The allegations about racial profiling prompted civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton to threaten to boycott Barneys unless the store takes steps to stop the alleged practice.
Macy’s is also defending itself after “Treme” actor Robert Brown said he was wrongfully detained after purchasing a watch for his mother from a New York location.
Over the weekend, Macy’s released a statement claiming that the store’s “personnel were not involved,” in the incident and that the store had provided a small room to police officers at their request.
“Our company will continue to investigate all aspects of our alleged involvement in this incident, and to cooperate fully with the courts and the New York City Police Department, with which we have a close and important working relationship,” the company said in the statement. “If Macy’s policies are found to have been violated, we will take swift and decisive action.”