Barney?s, Macy’s Absent from Council Meeting on Racial Profiling

room with empty chairsAnd so the saga of racial profiling at department stores continues.

After several incidents of racial profiling at both Barney?s New York and Macy?s department stores over the past two months, neither store showed up for a city council meeting on Wednesday. The same goes for the New York Police Department.???

?I?m offended that Barneys and Macy?s are not here. I think it?s insulting not just to the City Council, but to the city of New York and the people who shop there,? Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), who co-chaired the hearing, told the NY Daily News.

The meeting was supposed to be a first step in hashing out the details of recent cases of racial profiling when actor Ron Brown of the hit HBO television show “Treme,” 19 year-old Queens resident Trayon Christian, Brooklyn resident Art Palmer, and 21 year-old nurse Kayla Phiilips – all African American – were either detained or subjected to a bag search after making high-end purchases at Barney’s and Macy’s. Brown says he was “paraded” around Macy’s Herald Square for an hour in handcuffs after being accused of using a stolen credit card.? ?

At the time of the incidents, Brown bought a $1,300 watch for his mother’s graduation; Phillips bought a $2,500 designer handbag; and Christian bought a $349 designer leather belt. So far, all three shoppers have reportedly filed lawsuits.

Officials from both stores have said the NYPD, not the stores, are at fault. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has refused to comment.

Al Sharpton has said his team will consider a boycott if progress is not made.

Read more at The New York Times.?