“Treme” Star Rob Brown Settles “Shop-And-Frisk” Suit Against Macy’s & New York City

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July 21, 2014 ‐ By Ann Brown
Dimitri Halkidis / WENN

Dimitri Halkidis / WENN

You may remember Treme actor Rob Brown “shop-and-frisk” experience. It was covered widely in the media during a period where there seemed to be a rash of racial profiling cases of shoppers of color.

While shopping for a gift for his mother at Macy’s Herald Square location in midtown Manhattan, the HBO actor was falsely accused of suing a fake credit card to by a $1,300 watch for his mother.

Brown went on to sue the retail chain along with the city of New York, as the incident involved New York policemen. Now Brown, 30, has agreed to a settlement.  “The court has been informed that the parties have reached a settlement in principle,” Manhattan Federal Judge Lorna Schofield wrote  with regard to Brown’s twin actions against the department store and the city, reports The New York Daily News.

A spokeswoman for Macy’s would only reiterate that public announcement, “The lawsuits by various plaintiffs who alleged racial profiling by Macy’s have been settled in principle. We are making no further comment.”

Brown, who also appeared in the 2000 movie Finding Forrester, said he was handcuffed, “paraded” through the store and detained on June 8, 2013. His suit charged Macy’s and the city with false imprisonment, negligent training and civil rights allegations and sought unspecified money damages and a court order forcing Macy’s and the NYPD to stop the alleged practice of targeting minorities who shop at high-end stores.

There were further charges by other shoppers at Macy’s who claimed to be victims of racial profiling.  And a customer of Barneys New York also filed a shop-and-frisk lawsuit. The Rev. Al Sharpton later met with reps from various retail stores to speak about the problem and to insist on retraining of store staff. He drew up a “Customers Bill of Rights” he urged the stores to comply with.

As far as Brown’s lawsuit, his lawyer, Douglas Wigdor, did not offer the terms of the settlement.

A lawyer for the city said, “A settlement has been reached in principle, but the details are still being finalized.”

Wigdor also represents other people who have brought or who intend to bring lawsuits over similar Macy’s incidents. Those cases have also been settled in principle.

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