New York City is giving 17 major retail stores until Friday to submit information on how they have dealt with suspected thieves in their stores.

At a hearing on Wednesday, the City Council tackled the issue of racial profiling by hearing statements from Macy’s and Barneys New York denying allegations by customers that they had been singled out and followed.

From Associated Press:

The NYC Commission on Human Rights has sent letters to 17 retailers – including Macy’s and Barneys – requesting the following information: loss prevention policies; procedures for approaching and detaining individuals suspected of theft; records regarding all individuals accused of theft in the past two years; and what, if any presence, NYPD officers have in the retail locations.

The stores are: Century 21, Loehmann’s, Sephora, Target, Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Sears, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, The Gap, CVS, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys, Macy’s, Bath & Body Works/Limited Brands/Victoria’s Secret.

Read more at Associated Press

New York City Human Rights Commissioner Patricia Gatling said that letters may be sent to additional businesses, but the locations listed above were based on previous discrimination complaints against the store.

The unfair practices resurfaced after four black shoppers came forward last month, claiming to be racial profiled after making purchases in the stores. Three of those shoppers have since filed discrimination lawsuits against Macy’s and Barneys New York.

19-year-old Trayon Christian sued the NYPD and Barneys last month, claiming he was racially targeted after buying a $349 Ferragamo belt in April at the Madison Avenue store.¬†Actor Robert Brown filed a lawsuit against Macy’s, saying he was stopped inside its flagship store in Herald Square in June after he purchased a $1,350 Movado wristwatch. Brown said he thought he was stopped because he is African-American.

Thoughts on the City Council’s handling of the situation?

Will a resolution come from it, or will racial profiling forever be an issue in America?

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