Queens native and student Trayon Christian, 19, is filing a civil rights lawsuit against Barneys New York after a humiliating and disgusting experience recently. According to the Daily Mail, the engineering student at NYC College of Technology went to the Barneys location on Madison Avenue back in April to buy a $320 Salvatore Ferragamo belt he wanted after seeing it one of his favorite rapper’s, Juelz Santana. After purchasing the belt through saving money from his part-time job, and buying it using his Chase debit card and ID, he walked out of the store. Unfortunately, soon after leaving Barneys, he was followed by police.
As the story goes according to his lawsuit, the same sales associate who made the sale called police afterwards to say that he/she felt that the purchase was a fraud. So when police caught up with him outside and confronted him, asking him where he got the money to buy the Ferragamo belt, a confused Christian showed them his receipt. However, the young man was still taken to a local precinct for questioning. The suit claims he was held in a holding cell for two hours until things were worked out. When authorities called Chase Bank, they verified that the debit card he used, did indeed belong to him, and Christian was released afterwards. In response to the allegations, police say they didn’t hold him for two hours…just 42 minutes…
As for the belt, the 19-year-old said he returned it soon after the incident out of disgust:
“I brought the belt back to Barneys a few days later and returned it. I got my money back, I’m not shopping there again. It’s cruel. It’s racist.”
His lawyer, Michael Palillo, says Christian has never been in trouble with the law before, and that his only crime in this situation was being a young black man trying to buy an expensive item for a high-end store. But representatives at Barneys put out a statement saying they weren’t involved in the young man being pursued, and only sold him the belt.
“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.”
How much Christian is seeking through his lawsuit at this time has not been revealed, but someone needs to answer for such an episode. The fact that having an ID to match the name on your debit/credit card and a receipt still doesn’t keep you from being taken into custody is ridiculous, and the fact that police acknowledge that they held him all that time at all speaks volumes. What do you make of this situation?