Black New Yorkers Stopped By NYPD After Making Expensive Purchases At Barneys

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A black teen was handcuffed and taken in for questioning by the New York Police Department after he legally purchased a $350 belt at Barneys New York department store last April.

Trayon Christian, 19, a student at the NYC College of Technology, has since sued both Barneys and the NYPD.

Now another black New Yorker is stepping forward after she says the same thing happened to her after she made a pricey purchase at Barneys last February.

The Brooklyn Chapter of Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network is now seeking a meeting with Barneys New York CEO. The civil rights group plans to picket the store if the “alleged pattern of racial profiling does not stop,” ABC News reported.

"Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination and we stand by our long history in support of all human rights," Barneys said in a statement.

Kayla Phillips, 21, told the New York Post she was stopped by NYPD after she purchased a $2,500 Céline bag from the Madison Avenue store.

“As I was walking into the train station, four undercover police officers attacked me,” Phillips said.

She told New York Daily News that "three men and a woman” stopped her. “Two of them attacked me and pushed me against a wall, and the other two appeared in front of me, blocking the turnstile."

Phillips, a Brooklyn resident, had used her temporary Bank of America card to buy the bag. The funds on the card were from her tax refund.

“They asked me why I used a debit card and why it didn’t have my name on it,” she said.

Cops reportedly asked her: “What are you doing here in Manhattan? Where’d you get the money to buy that expensive bag?”

A frightened Phillips called her mother, Wendy Straker, who says it was obvious the NYPD was on the phone with a representative from Barneys who must have given them the “tip.”

Phillips said she showed police her ID and her new debit card, which had only arrived that morning, then they let her leave.

She is suing the NYPD for $5 million.

“Jay Z is getting ready to do a campaign with Barneys, but they’re looking at these African-American kids like they’re thieves,” Straker said.

Filed on Monday, Christian’s suit claims that a detective asked him “how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt.”

The teen says he saved money from his part time job in order to do so.

He says at the local NYPD precinct detectives alleged "that his identification was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase.”

Sources: Newser, New York Post, ABC News