Remember a few months back when upscale New York haberdasher made headlines for profiling two young Black men in the store? They alleged that the men had committed credit card fraud. The public was even calling on Jay Z to get involved given his partnership with the brand. Well, after a nine month investigation, Barneys has settled the racial profiling suit brought against the company. The settlement includes a $525,000 fine. According to NPR‘s Sam Sanders, “Barneys will also have to hire an independent anti-profiling consultant and the retailer will have to implement new record-keeping measures to spot profiling and keep track of interactions with local law enforcement.”
Let former Black and Hispanic customers and employees of Barney’s tell it, the store’s policies have been a little racist for a while. According to the NY Daily News:
“State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s investigators heard from customers and former employees that a pattern of racial profiling began last year when the high-end store tried to crack down on a dramatic spike in shoplifting and credit card fraud.
“Complainants told Schneiderman’s civil rights division that the store’s security team — known as the ‘loss prevention unit’ — made a habit of keeping watch over black and Hispanic shoppers in disproportionate numbers.”
In a statement, Barneys personnel has written that they are a, “a truly progressive company that has absolutely no tolerance for discrimination of any kind.”