According to the Daily News, two former Barney’s security workers will give the state’s attorney general an insider’s view of store policies that they claim produced racial profiling complaints today.
New York’s State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman plans to meet with Raymel Cardona and Aaron Argueta as part of his investigation into recent complaints from African-American shoppers at Barney’s and Macy’s, sources say. A Barney’s rep has said the two men were “disgruntled employees” fired for insubordination — a charge their attorney angrily denied. Cardona worked as an assistant manager for loss prevention, while Argueta was once a plainclothes security guard, their attorney says. “The idea is to hear firsthand what they have to say,” says one source. “It’s normal investigative procedure.”
The two former workers — with 30 combined years of experience in security — say an aggressive loss prevention program at the flagship store on Madison Avenue led to more customer complaints of racial profiling, one source said. The in-person meeting comes on the same day that both retailers are due to hand over an assortment of documents as Schneiderman’s probe continues.
The two stores said they would cooperate with the investigation and turn over all the paperwork sought by Schneiderman. Barneys CEO Mark Lee has denied that any store employees were involved in the cases of shoppers Trayon Christian, 19, and Kayla Phillips, 21 — a claim that was quickly contradicted by the NYPD. A police spokesman said cops moved on the suspects at the Madison Ave. store after they were contacted by Barneys employees. Schneiderman said that police and the stores might be working together in singling out minority customers for extra scrutiny from security. Cops denied that, too.
Christian was stopped in April after buying a $349 Ferragamo belt, while Phillips was targeted two months earlier after her purchase of a $2,500 designer handbag. A similar flap erupted at Macy’s, where two African-American customers — including Rob Brown, one of the stars of HBO series “Treme” — claimed they were shop and frisked after purchases at Macy’s.
All of these revelations come on the same day that Hip Hop mogul Jay-Z announced that he will be releasing his Fragrance Gold For Men exclusively at Barney’s New York on “Black Friday”.
-Sha Be Allah(@KingPenStatus)