A black student who says he was profiled by Barneys NY for purchasing an expensive designer belt won a $45,000 settlement from the retail giant.
Trayon Christian said he used his debit card to purchase a $349 Ferragano belt at the Barneys’ flagship store on Fifth Avenue on April 27, 2013.
Christian said he was followed out of the department store and “hassled” by two undercover NYPD detectives.
The former engineering student at the New York City College of Technology said the police didn’t believe he could afford the expensive designer belt.
“They said my card wasn’t real, it was fake. They said someone at Barneys called to report it,” Christian told The NY Daily News in October 2013.
The detectives demanded to look in his bag, and they asked him if he was employed and where he worked.
“The detectives were asking me, ‘How could you afford a belt like this? Where did you get this money from?’” Christian told the News.
Not satisfied with his truthful answers, the detectives cuffed Christian and took him to the 19th Precinct stationhouse.
Two hours later police released Christian and offered a weak apology. They returned his belt and his debit card, he said.
In October 2014 Barneys paid $525,000 to settle other racial profiling claims.
Barneys’ business partnership with rap mogul Jay Z in 2013 tarnished the 47-year-old’s image in the black community.