A third person has accused Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square of racial profiling after he purchased a $2,400 Louis Vuitton bag, according to his lawyer.
Halim Sharif, a club promoter in New York City, claims the department store stopped him and unnecessarily searched his purchase because he was black, said lawyer Kareem Vessup. Vessup also represents Kayla Phillips, the young woman who claimed she was stopped after purchasing a purse at Barneys.
Sharif is the third person to accuse Macy’s of racial profiling this year.
Sharif’s incident occurred on April 19, 2013, when he purchased the bag as a gift for a friend. On his way out of Macy’s, a security alarm went off, his lawyer contends. Sharif was then stopped by loss-prevention and was asked to show his receipt. After showing the receipt, Sharif claims the employee started going through his purchase.
“They beat up the purchase pretty badly,” said Vessup, who said, “They [Macy’s] became a little bit dismissive of Mr. Sharif.”
Unlike the other racial profiling victims, Sharif captured his incident on his cell phone. Although the footage is not being released, his attorney says it shows other shoppers who set off the security alarm but were not stopped; none were African- American or Hispanic, he said.
Macy’s said Saturday, “We take any claim made by our customers very seriously and will investigate Mr. Sharif’s allegation vigorously. Macy’s has a zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.
“If Macy’s policies have not been upheld, we will take swift and immediate action. As Mr. Sharif’s case is pending litigation, we cannot comment further on any specifics relating to the lawsuit.”
“Employees who violate the company’s prohibition on profiling will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment,” the document says.