In the on-going Barneys shop-and-frisk saga, Mark Lee, Barneys New York Chief Executive, met with the Reverend Al Sharpton and issued an apology to Trayon Christian, Kayla Philips and Jay-Z. Lee also insisted the store has a “zero tolerance” discrimination policy.

“No one, and I mean no individual, should go through the unacceptable experiences described by Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips in recent media reports, and we offer our deepest sympathies to both of them,” Lee said Tuesday after an hour-long meeting with the Rev. Al Sharpton.

“That’s not the policy at Barneys,” Lee said. “Racial profiling is an extremely serious form of discrimination. We take it very seriously, and if we found that to be factually true we would terminate those individuals [involved,]” Lee said.

“Our preliminary investigation has concluded that in both of these instances no one from Barneys New York raised any issue with these purchases,” Lee said. “No one from Barneys brought them to the attention of our internal security and no one from Barneys reached out to external authorities.”

If Barneys’ isn’t to blame than who is?

One would think the next scapegoat would be the NYPD, but when Lee was asked, he didn’t point fingers. “I can only speak to what we know from the preliminary investigation…We believe, in the last week of our research that no Barneys employees was involved in these two instances.”

Lee must have felt the heat (or lack of) that could eventually come from Jay-Z, after the “business”-man was hounded about this affiliation with Barneys.

“We deeply regret that these recent events have distracted from the great work of the Sean Carter Foundation, and we offer our sincere apologies to Mister Carter.” Lee said.

“Our collaboration together is based on the shared mission of helping individuals facing socio-economic hardships.”

Lee is prepared to work with Sharpton and other organizations to get to the root of the problem when it comes to racial profiling and will cooperate fully with the Attorney General’s investigation.

“If, in fact, NYPD takes it upon themselves to profile, that needs to be dealt with by retailers,” Sharpton said.

“If, in fact, there were rogue members in these department stores that have some collusion with members of NYPD that is not known to the heads of these companies, that ought to be dealt with by retailers.”



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  • Joan

    What a wicked, insulting little game this is. It’s obvious to me that they really don’t want black customers. It’s so brilliantly condescending. They succeeded in finding a way to racially profile that allows them to say, “Technically, it wasn’t us.”

    • GT

      Yeah, their damage control response is such BS and they really think people are stupid enough to believe they are sincere.

    • iforgotitall

      Yes, it is smart and also very funny.
      But of course they want black customers. This is 2013. Stores want ANYBODY who is spending money.
      Celebs like L. Lohan get these bags for free or really steal them. It is the students, nurses, etc….working people who come out en masse and keep these companies in business.

  • When Sharpton got involved, I officially lost interest in the outcome.

  • Their quote just doesn’t seem sincere to me.

  • I’m tired of this story.

  • lea

    ok great now that barneys and other stores treat us this way, can we start supporting black businesses now and invest our buying power in them ?

    • lalalalala

      This would be a great opportunity for some philanthropic-minded black person to start a mid-scale department store. One that has a normal anti-shoplifting policy.