Barneys fined by AG in profile settlement

By Bill Parry

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced an agreement with Barneys New York that will help ensure that customers, regardless of their race or ethnicity, have equal access to its stores throughout New York.

This agreement, announced Monday, follows a nine-month-long investigation by the attorney general’s office, which was launched after two African-American customers, including a college student from Corona, alleged they were falsely accused of credit card fraud while shopping at Barneys’ flagship store.

“Profiling and racial discrimination remain a problem in our state, but not one we are willing to accept,” Schneiderman said. “This agreement will continue our work to ensure there’s one set of rules for everyone in public accommodations, including customers in New York’s retail establishments.

“This agreement will correct a number of past wrongs, both fixing past policies and by monitoring the actions of Barneys and its employees to make sure that past mistakes are not repeated.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Barneys will pay $525,000 in costs, fees and penalties.

Corona’s Trayon Martin, a student at New York College of Technology, sued Barneys following an incident April 9, 2013. Martin purchased a $349 Salvatore Ferragamo belt with a debit card, and after showing identification he was singled out by Barneys staff.

He was later stopped by NYPD detectives a block away. He was handcuffed and taken to the 19th Precinct, where he was questioned for two hours before being released without charge.

Christian could not be reached for comment.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4538.