Business

Barneys Agrees to Pay $525G to Settle Racial Profiling Allegations after Civil Rights Review

Pedestrians pass Barneys New York department store Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, in New York. The scenario usually involves suspicious glances, inattentive clerks or rude service _ not handcuffs. Yet when a black teen came forward with a story of being briefly jailed after buying a $350 belt at the Manhattan luxury store, it stirred up an age-old problem that many African-Americans still deal with today. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Greg B. Smith, NY DAILY NEWS

NEW YORK (New York Daily News)—Barneys has agreed to pay $525,000 to settle allegations that the upscale retailer deliberately targeted minorities entering its Madison Ave. flagship store.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s investigators heard from customers and former employees that a pattern of racial profiling began last year when the high-end store tried to crack down on a dramatic spike in shoplifting and credit card fraud.

Complainants told Schneiderman’s civil rights division that the store’s security team — known as the “loss prevention unit” — made a habit of keeping watch over black and Hispanic shoppers in disproportionate numbers.

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

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