The second story of racial profiling this week!!
Kayla Phillips a 21 year old Brooklyn native has filed a $5 million dollar case against Barneys & the NYPD for racially profiling her, attacking her with unnecessary force, and accusing her of credit card scamming. Kayla, who is also a nursing student & mother, says she was swarmed by 4 undercover cops after using her debit card to buy a $2,500 orange suede Céline bag at the flagship Barneys store on Madison Ave. Her experience at the store is very similar to that of Trayon Christian, 19, who filed a discrimination suit against Barneys and the NYPD for racial profiling.
Kayla told the Daily News she had long coveted the orange suede Céline bag, and with a cash infusion from a tax return, she took her Bank of America debit card to the Madison Ave. flagship store on Feb. 28. Phillips made the purchase without any problems but says she was surrounded by cops just three blocks away, at the Lexington Ave. and 59th St. subway station.
“There were three men and a woman,” she recalled. “Two of them attacked me and pushed me against a wall, and the other two appeared in front of me, blocking the turnstile.” The cops began to hammer her with questions and demanding to see her ID. Mind you, there were no badges presented or any announcement that they were officers of the law. Also, Kayla is a young woman but was thrown against the wall & restrained while Trayon (another black shopper targeted by Barneys & the NYPD for the same reason) did not receive any physical contact or restriction from the cops. Ironic huh?
Kayla continues to describe the incident to the reports saying “They were very rough,” . “They kept asking me what I bought and, ‘Show us your card.’ I didn’t know what was happening.”
“They kept asking how I could afford this expensive bag and why had I paid for it with a card with no name on it,” said Phillips. They also questioned her about the Chanel bag she was carrying. She showed them a letter from Bank of America, saying she hadn’t activated her official card yet. The detective took her card and started bending it, Phillips said. “If you were a victim of identity theft, if someone was trying to use your hard-earned money, wouldn’t you want us to investigate?” the undercover female officer asked Phillips, after she asked why she’d been stopped..
Phillips’ attorney, Kareem Vessup, says an additional civil rights lawsuit against the NYPD and Barneys is pending. The NYPD however is getting sued for $5 million, the suit for Barneys has yet to be announced.
The 5 p.m. confrontation was eerily similar to a clash between cops and 19-year-old Trayon Christian, who filed a discrimination suit this week accusing Barneys and the NYPD of racially profiling him. Christian, who is black, alleged he was followed into the street by undercover cops and accused of fraud after he used his debit card to buy a $349 Ferragamo belt at Barneys on April 29. The young Queens man was cuffed and taken to the 19th Precinct stationhouse, but released with no charges after it was confirmed that everything was legit.
Barneys has released this statement below in relation to this string of racial profiling:
Plain ol’ sad & nasty. So Black people can’t afford nice high end clothes, and bags, and belts? Bullshit if you ask me. Comment below — let us know what you think about all this: