Say What Now? Barneys Busts Teen for 'Shopping While Black' [Photos] |

Say What Now? Barneys Busts Teen for ‘Shopping While Black’ [Photos]


If you’re Black and looking to treat yourself to something nice, you might want to avoid Barneys.

A college student from Queens bought himself a $350 designer belt at Barneys. However, shortly after making the purchase  a clerk had him cuffed because she thought he couldn’t afford it and fraud was involved.

Here’s what went down according to the NY Post:

“His only crime was being a young black man,” his attorney, Michael Palillo, told The Post.

Trayon Christian, 19, a NYC College of Technology freshman from Corona, went to the Madison Avenue fashion mecca in April to buy the Salvatore Ferragamo belt after saving up his paychecks from a part-time job at the college.

But as soon as he exited the luxury department store, undercover officers grabbed Christian and asked “how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt,” according to the suit, filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court.

A Barneys clerk, who had asked Christian for identification when he bought the belt, called police claiming the purchase was a fraud, the suit says.

Plainclothes detectives hauled Christian off Fifth Avenue and into the local precinct.

There, Christian produced his identification, his debit card from Chase and the receipt with his name on it, the suit states.

“In spite of producing such documentation, Christian was told that his identification was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase.”

Cops eventually called Chase, which verified that the card belonged to Christian, and they let him go.

Police sources said Christian has no arrest record.

Christian told The Post he returned the belt out of disgust over his treatment by the world-famous clothing store.

Trayon purchased a belt similar to this Salvatore Ferragamo belt.
Trayon purchased a belt similar to this Salvatore Ferragamo belt.

“I didn’t want to have anything to do with it,” he said, adding that he was first inspired to buy the accessory by Harlem rapper Juelz Santana who wears the Italian designer’s duds.

Christian said he’ll never shop at Barneys again.

He is suing both Barneys and the NYPD for unspecified damages.

Barneys did not immediately comment.

A spokeswoman for the city’s Law Department said she would review the claims once she received the suit.

A Barneys spokesperson has released a statement:

“Barneys New York typically does not comment on pending litigation. In this instance, we feel compelled to note that after carefully reviewing the incident of last April, it is clear that no employee of Barneys New York was involved in the pursuit of any action with the individual other than the sale. Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination and we stand by our long history in support of all human rights.”

We hope the clerk who made that call gets handled appropriately. This is completely unacceptable.

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