On Fri., Nov. 1, at 5:30 p.m., Bronx Assemblymember Luis Sepulveda will sponsor a “Shop and Frisk” Rally in front of Macy’s in Parkchester to shine a light on the problem of racial profiling of department store customers.
A forceful opponent of the New York City Police Department’s stop and frisk policies, Sepulveda is equally against shop and frisk practices in large department stores. “Our community will not tolerate the targeting of men and women based on the color of their skin,” the assemblymember declared. “We must dissuade these practices in the future and unite to work proactively to find a solution to this problem.”
After four Black customers complained that they had been unfairly targeted at Barneys New York and Macy’s, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched an investigation into security practices of these two department stores. Barneys and Macy’s officials countered that police acted on their own in choosing to stop shoppers. Macy’s spokesperson Elina Kazan said in a statement that the store’s staff played no role in two incidents at the company’s Herald Square flagship. In one incident, actor Rob Brown of HBO’s “Treme” was led through the store in handcuffs after purchasing an expensive Movado watch for his mother. “This was an operation of the New York City Police Department,” Kazan stated.
The attorney general has given the two department store chains until Friday to turn over a list of every shopper stopped and detained in the past 12 months, broken down by race. Both retailers must also provide details on their internal policies for contacting police with concerns about shoppers.
Joining Assemblymember Sepulveda and diverse community activists at the Parkchester rally will be several elected officials, including State Senator Ruben Diaz, Councilmembers Annabel Palma and Maria del Carmen Arroyo, and District Leader Julia Rodriguez. Religious leaders such as Pastor Hiram Ratliff of New Tabernacle Church and Rev. Dr. Laura Sinclair and Rev. Felicia Smith of Parkchester Baptist Church will also attend.
Macy’s Parkchester store is located at 1441 Metropolitan Ave. in the Bronx. For further information contact Jazmine Lopez at (718) 931-2620 or email [email protected].