Civil Rights leader and activist Al Sharpton met with Barneys New York CEO on Tuesday to discuss the recent racial profiling allegations filed against the high-end retailer.
Two black customers accused Barney’s of discrimination two weeks ago after being detained by police in two separate incidents. Two more black customers came forward claiming racial profiling at Macy’s soon after.
“We had a very candid and open meeting today to begin a dialogue,” Sharpton said after the private meeting with Barneys CEO Mark Lee at Sharpton’s National Action Network office in Harlem. Lee said Barneys’ own initial investigation showed no employees were at fault in the two incidents, but he said the retailer does not tolerate discrimination and wants “to be part of the solution” to racial profiling.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office sent letters to the executives at both Barneys New York and Macy’s East noting that racial discrimination in places of public accommodation including stores is prohibited under state and local civil rights law. The letters dated Monday asked executives at both stores to call the attorney general’s office to schedule meetings.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent letters to executives at both Barneys New York and Macy’s reminding them that racial discrimination is prohibited in public places under state and local law. The letter also asked the executives to schedule meetings with the attorney general.
Lee said Barneys plans to fully cooperate with the attorney general. A spokeswoman for Macy’s has also released a statement saying the store will cooperate fully during the investigation.
We will keep you updated on the developments of this story.