Jay Z Pressured To End Barneys Partnership After Profiling Incident [Details]

Rucuss staffOctober 26, 2013

Fans urge Jay-Z to end his partnership with Barneys following reports that black shoppers were racially profiled while purchasing items from the department store.

The Tom Ford rapper recently signed a deal with Barneys to release a limited edition holiday line, with 25% of the proceeds going towards the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation. But while the Brooklyn native stands to make millions from the collaboration, fans are pushing him to rethink his decision to work with the company.

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Barneys was involved in two profiling incidents involving African-Americans this year. Earlier this week, Trayvon Christian, 19, filed a lawsuit against Barneys and the NYPD for detaining him after he purchased a $349 Ferragamo belt. The college student claims he was approached by police, and arrested after he bought the belt from the department store.

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Christian spotted the belt on Juelz Santana and saved up his money from his part-time job so that he could purchase it. However, after he bought the belt from Barneys the store clerk called police and told them that he didn’t look as though he could afford it.

The 19-year old was questioned by detectives, who believed he may have used a fraudulent card and ID, and he even spent a few hours in jail until police verified that all of his info was correct. He has since returned the belt to the store and filed a lawsuit.

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After the incident was reported by the media, a 21-year-old black woman named Kayla Phillips came forward and made similar accusations. She alleges she was also stopped by NYPD shortly after purchasing a $2,500 Celine bag from the store back in February.

Phillips used a temporary Bank of America debit card that did not have her name on it because she had just opened a bank account with her tax return. The card made the store clerk suspicious. After she was allegedly approached by police and roughed up on the streets, she was eventually able to show them a new card, bearing her name which had arrived in the mail.

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Change.org petition was created for Jay-Z to “withdraw his support from Barneys New York.” It wants him to dissociate himself with a brand that has been accused of discriminating against black shoppers.  

Jay-Z has not responded to the petiton. But others have addressed the issue on Twitter.

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