Racial profiling at Barneys is getting increased media attention this week, but it’s nothing new. In 2013 alone, 13 minorities were arrested for credit card fraud at Barneys stores: 10 black men, two black women, and an Asian woman.

We can only wonder how many incidents of credit card frauds by non-minorities went unchecked, and how many of these 13 suspects were actually guilty of a crime.

The police claim these suspects were arrested for good reason, and offer the fact that four pleaded guilty (seven are pending) as evidence. We’re hoping that the four who pleaded out were not coerced and are indeed in the wrong.

But even if all 13 are guilty, that fact is not an excuse nor is it a pass for the police to racially profile innocent people of color, like Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips who were legally shopping when they were discriminated against.


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  • Mariposa Sedosa

    I had to comment on this topic. I worked at Target after high school. And I witnessed first hand the discriminatory practices of the Asset Protection department. They are the undercover and uniformed security guards. Well, im black and have experienced discrimination while shopping. However some t.v. shows have spun this situation as shopping while black in high end syores. When in reality this can happen in any store.

    As far as the credit card fraud goes, one incident sticks out clearly in my head over ten years later. I worked in the elelectronics department in Target. A shortin man, who appeared to be white with blondish hair bought some things at my counter. The way it worked at that time is if the customer was running credit we would ask for the card and their I.d. I did that, this guy said he was running it as debit, but pressed credit instead. It was immediately approved. I found it pointless to check his I.d. after that. Next, he did what many do when committing credit card fraud, he made another larger purchase after first checking if the card had been canceled with a smaller purchase. Although I was young, I was on my job. I told him the second time around I would need to see his I.d. first (I didn’t mention it was because he lied about using debit). Then the idiots in Asset Protection called me to tell me how to do my job. The guy leaves the store.

    Where this story gets really interesting is when the local police force gets involved. I get called into the Asset Protection office where all the cameras are. The same ones that supposedly are so accurate they can zoom in on a price tag and clearly read the numbers. The police officer shows me 6 pictures of suspects. All who appear to be native Mexicans or Central Americans with very dark skin, jet black hair, and heavy set. Very different than the man I saw. Who was short, blond, white, with light eyes. They tried to pressure me to choose one of the photos. I refused. I refused in a lot of other circumstances as well. Thinking back I should have filed a complaint or even sued over some shit.

    Any how, I have insight on the inside of how they only watch certain people. I even had an Asian friend in high school who would take a white friend with her to steal.

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