The latest African-American to decry racism at a New York City high-end retailer is Robert Brown, star of the HBO series Treme. The actor, who has also starred in numerous films, including Finding Forrester, Coach Carter, and had a role in the Dark Knight Rises, took to Twitter to air his disgust at the New York Police Department and Macy's, after he says he was handcuffed at the department store after buying his mother an expensive watch. Brown is the third African-American to accuse a high-end New York City retailer of racism and racial profiling when they tried to buy high-ticketed items.
Trayvon Christian is suing the NYPD and Barneys after he says he was arrested after buying a $350 Salvatore Ferragamo belt. He claims officers told him there was no way he could afford such a belt and accused him of having a false debit card and identification. In fact, he did have the money, the debit card was real, and his identification was legitimate.
Then 21-year-old nursing student Kayla Phillips came forward to say that she too was accused of fraud in Barneys, and stopped by cops blocks away after buying $2,500 orange suede Celine bag.
You think this would be enough to put high-end retailers on alert that black people have money too, but apparently the memo did not reach Macy's.
Brown says after he bought his mom a $1,350 watch, he was put in handcuffs, "paraded" through the city, kept in a holding cell for two hours, and accused of using a fake credit card. He was eventually released without charges. Asks Brown:
Why was I put in cuffs? Why was I even approached? It was a slap in the face.
Brown asked this from his attorney's office -- so you can be sure where this is headed.
Retailers and the NYPD might want to take note -- how about asking questions first and handcuffing later? And, oh yeah, African-Americans have money. Ask Jay-Z, who has a partnership with Barneys.
I personally would never spend thousands of dollars on anything that couldn't move -- but what people do with their hard-earned cash is up to them.
Has anyone ever stopped you in a high-end store?
Image via HBO