After meeting today with Reverend Al Sharpton and other civil rights activists and community leaders, Barneys CEO Mark Lee says no employee of the luxe retailer ever racially profiled its customers, and no one from the store contacted the NYPD. After an hour-long sitdown at the Harlem offices of the National Action Network, Lee issued the following apology:
“No one, and I mean no individual, should go through the unacceptable experiences described by Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips. We offer our deepest sympathies to both of them.”
However, Barneys is claiming that they never racially profiled the two black shoppers, and no employee ever tipped off the NYPD. “Our preliminary investigation has concluded that, in both of these instances, no one from Barneys New York raised any issue with these purchases,” Lee said.
In supposed accordance with the company's "zero tolerance" discrimination policy, “No one from Barneys brought them to the attention of our internal security, and no one from Barneys reached out to external authorities," Lee explained.
This would logically leave the NYPD to blame for singling out Christian and Phillips after they purchased a $350 Ferragamo belt and a $2,500 Celine bag, respectively. Lee's response to this question was, “I can only speak to what we know from the preliminary investigation.”
“We deeply regret that these recent events have distracted from the great work of the Sean Carter Foundation, and we offer our sincere apologies to Mister Carter. Our collaboration together is based on the shared mission of helping individuals facing socio-economic hardships.”
Lee pledged his and Barneys support in continuing to combat discrimination and the recent "shop-n-frisk" phenomenon that shoppers have faced. “I’m prepared to stand with the Rev. Sharpton and the leaders to effect real change and bring other retailers into the fold,” Lee said. “Moving forward there is a broader issue that needs to be addressed and Barneys New York is committed to be part of the solution.”
[via NY Post]