On the heels of allegations that Barneys department store in NYC discriminated against a young black student buying an expensive belt, now they’re taking another blow.
Kayla Phillips, a 21-year-old nursing student from Brooklyn, is telling news outlets that she too was a victim of discrimination and racial profiling at the luxury store after trying to purchase a $2,500 Celine bag.
After buying the luxury item with the money from a tax return, the woman left the Madison Avenue store. Three blocks away, she says she was surrounded by four undercover police officers — two white, one African American and one Asian — at a nearby subway station.
“There were three men and a woman. Two of them attacked me and pushed me against a wall, and the other two appeared in front of me, blocking the turnstile,” Phillips said.
It gets worse.
Phillips says that the white officers, one male, one female, questioned her for the next 20 minutes about where she lives and why she was in Manhattan. They also asked her how she was able to purchase such an expensive bag. She told them that she was in the area to shop and showed her receipt.
It wasn’t until she showed them her ID and her newly issued debit card that she was let go.
Just like the young engineering student filing a suit against Barneys and the NYPD for racial profiling, Phillips is doing the same.
Nevertheless, Phillips has filed a $5 million notice of claim with the city informing them of her intention to sue the NYPD. An additional civil rights lawsuit against the NYPD and Barneys is also pending according to Kareem Vessup, Phillips’ attorney.
The two accusations, which Barneys is trying to distance themselves from, is bringing up yet another issue: rapper Jay Z’s new partnership with the store.
The rapper is launching a collaboration called “A New York Holiday” on November 20 where he has curated a selection of limited-edition products by top fashion designers that range in price from $70 to $33,900. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds will go to the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation to help fund education opportunities for students who can’t afford them.
“It’s not fair . . . the two individuals who have had these experiences listen to Jay Z and Beyoncé, who wear designer clothes,” Wendy Elie, the mother of Kayla Phillips, told Daily News. “These kids also like nice things, and they were treated awfully.”
A damn shame. We wonder what Hov has to say about all of this.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook