Store chain Buy Buy Baby is facing allegations of racism. Last January, Damon and David Harvey visited a Buy Buy Baby in Long Island to purchase gifts for a family baby shower.
They selected three items, which totaled more than $1,000. When they tried to pay with cash, the store supervisor refused to accept the payment. The Harveys say they were discriminated against for being black.
On the day the cousins were shopping last January, a Buy Buy Baby supervisor told them that their money was “not real,” and “didn’t meet certain requirements,” according to the men. She then instructed them to use a different payment method or leave the store “before the cops get here.” The cousins, who do not own credit cards, said instead of fleeing, they wanted to speak with police, and they waited patiently until officers arrived. But even after the officers said the cash looked fine, the store manager did not allow them to purchase the car seat, stroller and crib.
The Harveys ended up depositing their cash in a bank and sent another cousin back to the store to make the purchase with an ATM card.
A Buy Buy Baby spokeswoman insist that what happened wasn’t about race, but precaution due to instances of counterfeit currency isssues in several stores. According to her, an internal memo was distributed to area stores warning of the counterfeit ring.
The Harveys are considering filing a lawsuit.
Why does it seem that store security policies aimed at curbing theft seem to disproportionately target blacks?
Is the issue with the policies or the implementation?
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