“Shopping While Black”? Student accused of theft at fancy store after he bought the item!

“Shopping While Black”? Student accused of theft at fancy store after he bought the item!

“Cause I’m Young And I’m Black And My Hat’s Real Low?”

barneys2NEW YORK, NY – A young black college student named Trayon Christian from Queens was splurging on a $350 belt at Barney’s when he suddenly found himself in handcuffs. A store attendant didn’t think he had money to purchase the item, even though he already paid for it.

Now the man is suing, alleging racial discrimination. “His only crime was being a young black man,” his attorney, Michael Palillo said.

Christian was shocked when he was exiting the store and was grabbed by undercover officers asking how “a young black man like him could afford to purchase such an expensive belt”. A clerk then called the police to claim that the purchase was fraudulent. Officers arrived and arrested Christian, placing him into custody.

At the station the man properly identified himself and produced his receipt, proving he had purchased the belt. Palillo said, “In spite of producing such documentation, Christian was told that his identification was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase.”

Officers contacted Chase bank, which verified that the card belonged to the man, whereupon he was released. Christian returned the belt to the store and is now suing both Barney’s and the NYPD.


Austin Petersen

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  • drock10

    what doesnt make sense with this story is why the cops didn’t ask him for his receipt at the store at the time they were questioning him. Something doesn’t pass the sniff test with this one.

  • Bob Haven

    that’s called racism

  • drock10

    no i get that. but what i am saying is that this story doesn’t vibe at all. sure cops and people are still racist but this story seems to concocted, too made up. I don’t buy it.

  • Mario Lawrence

    What’s to say the kid wasn’t trying to show he has a receipt? They could just accuse him, “it’s not your credit card” like they did.
    Or what…?This may be racism, but the story is fake, because no one is actually racist? That’s just something that black people make up right? It’s just too ridiculous, is that it?
    Whatever man.

    EDIT: I cleared up the rest, because it would make no difference here..

  • drock10

    Mario – first of all, i know there is still racism in the world. Some of my very liberal friends are the most racist. Some of my black friends claim that blacks cant be ‘racist’ only ‘biased’. Which is about the most racist and unintelligent thing ever spoken in public discourse.

    What seems ‘made up’ about the story is it appears to ‘flow’ all wrong. Sure, cops are racist, as we see all the time when black police officers shoot unarmed black teens or white cops arresting white idiots for drunken disorderly conduct (ever seen Cops, talk about racist).

    But Mario, you fall right into the perpetual ‘victimization’ role as good ol Race Baiters Incorporated (shartpon, smiley, jesse, etc) want you to. I am not saying racism didn’t play a role in this story it just seems so overtly over the top that it doesnt make sense. Kind of like the “i am oprah winfrey and some Swiss lady I couldn’t afford a bag” which we later found out was as much BS as Obama being unbiased on race issues.

    But, maybe I should edit part of my statement since it would “make no difference to you”.

  • Justin Martin

    What an idiot…..

    This is what I don’t get about “blacks” like him, if you think you are persecuted for being black, which would make your life more dangerous…. WHY do they then go out spending $300 dollars on a belt, and when questioned about whether or not they are going to steal it TALK TO THE POLICE!

    For all you black men out there who think he did nothing wrong.

    Lesson one, here no evil see no evil, when a police officer asks you something, even if your innocent, DEMAND A LAWYER!!! You talk to no one but your lawyer.

    Lesson two, if you think some gangster is after you and you might have to defend yourself, your not going to buy a belt, your going to buy a gun. If you think your going to defend yourself in court to protect your life someday because the government wants you producing cheap goods or war equipment, save for a lawyer, buy a regular belt you woman.

    Next guys are going to be going around talking about how fashionable their shoes are…. Oh, wait…..

  • Mario Lawrence

    You acknowledge racial prejudice, but recognizing it here in this particular article is hard for you to fathom, comprehend, or accept. “I don’t buy it”.

    This whole thing could have been avoided if they simply asked for his identification card or driver’s license. But since, we can assume they did not. Let’s run it over real quick.

    “A store attendant didn’t think he had money to purchase the item, even though he already paid for it.”
    (Did you ID?)

    “A clerk then called the police to claim that the purchase was fraudulent.”
    (Shouldn’t happen if you ID)

    “. . .asking how “a YOUNG BLACK MAN like him could afford to purchase such an expensive belt”. . .”

    We are wondering why a BLACK man can afford an expensive built, and so we have the cops DETAIN him until we can figure it out, but it IS NOT racial prejudice?

    And even if it IS, and he seeks justice for being UNLAWFULLY detained on grounds of racial prejudice, then the young black man is playing a VICTIMIZATION ROLE, because he identified injustice when it happened to him? He was somehow “race baited” into that?

    Think what you will about his story being suspicious, just stop trying to undermine the recognition of wrongdoing here… because that would be worse than the act that took place, and shows a gross and immoral level of denial. Stick your head in the sand and see-no-evil.
    (Unless, we’re going to get into *theories* that the young man had an accomplice in the store that was somehow trying to help him rig a racial discrimination case. In which case, we can all say we’ve seen it all.)

    I’d like to add to the report that the store (Barney’s) has denied involvement in the young man being accosted, naturally. The liberal fallout will be immense in a “blue” area like Manhattan, if this case gets anymore media attention.

    You can knock Sharpton, Smiley, and Jackson all you want. I don’t give them anymore recognition than Savage or Limbaugh.
    I’m a Christian, I’m a social conservative, and I’m a libertarian-minded African-American… and I have experienced racial prejudice as well. Recognizing that, is not a “race baited victimization role”. It is a fact of my life.

    For you to accuse people that have suffered racial prejudice, of ‘playing the victim’; Is just as racist and disgusting as the words and reasoning of your so-called ‘black friends’.
    Assuming that you are a Libertarian, you should know better than to parrot disgusting far-right propaganda. The same goes for your black friends spewing the far-left nonsense that they did.

    I am happy that Austin Petersen has mentioned this incident, because you can be sure that Savage and Limbaugh won’t.

  • drock10

    The incident happened April 29th and is JUST NOW becoming a story? Really. That is the first clue that something is amiss about this. He returned the item to the store a few days later and swore he would never shot there again. And I can see that you make assumptions in your response of which you don’t know the facts too. So lets make a lot of other assumptions like good little detectives do when they are piecing a story together without all the facts.

    The young male purchases the item legitimately using a debit card linked to his account and showed proper ID. The clerk completes the transaction and the boy leaves the store. To no incident. Upon getting only a block away two plain clothes NYPD detectives apprehend him and ask questions. So all over NYC there are just off duty NYPD detectives lurching around to apprehend black teens shopping “fraudulently”? Sure, makes sense.

    Who called the police to come and arrest him then? The clerk or the undercover detectives? The story doesn’t say. The detectives asked the male for his receipt and ID. he presented both. They then went back to the store. Are we then to assume that the police upon reentering the store didn’t ask which clerk the man dealt with and then asked that clerk if the man then purchased the item? At this point wouldn’t any good and decent cop who had been on the job more than one beat not ask to verify that the transaction went through, that the bank (the story says a credit card but it was a debit card) where the card was registered to could have verified it was the boys or his moms account for which he had purchasing authority to use? Did that clerk just disappear into thin air? The undercover detectives were nameless apparently, or so the boy never thought to ask their name so he can’t tell authorities who they were. So is he pressing charges against the two detectives who originally apprehended him? Guess they disappeared to.

    So the police reentered the store with the young man i guess the clerk was only asked to point out, as in a lineup, if this was the teen who made the purchase. No other questions asked…book him!

    Then while at the precinct a few blocks away he is held for 42 minutes then released. His attorney says he was never charged and then released.

    then 6 months later this becomes a story for some reason?

    Again, not saying that the incident didn’t occur something just seems very amiss here. And i am a common sensed classical liberal, Christian, who actually uses his head to think things through and not jump to conclusions on matters like this involving teens of any race and the authorities. Authorities mostly disgust me as they use their power to do things to and against citizens that they dont have the right to do and use their power to do things we can’t do.

    something more sinister at play here. but that is just who i am…skeptical of stories that seem as empty as this. If it happened the way its descrived, then the store and the authorities should be prosecuted for racial bias. but somehow, i don’t think the actual facts of the case will bring an indictment.

  • Mario Lawrence

    Are you saying that because a black person KNOWS that racism exists; he therefore SHOULD NOT go out and buy an expensive piece of clothing, because he WILL be considered suspicious, and he WILL be detained and questioned by police?

    And when the police accost him and inquire about his purchase, you’re saying he’s supposed to give them Hell, and demand a lawyer…. over a situation so petty, that his producing a receipt should have been enough to settle?
    What if he did do that? What if he did demand a lawyer and started “getting smart” with police? If they started beating him with clubs because he ‘spoke out of line’, would you say he deserved it?
    No, this young man was peaceful, and he handled the situation in a dignified manner.

    You’re saying the young black man is AT FAULT for walking into that store and purchasing an expensive item, because he KNOWS that prejudicial people exists.
    I’m sorry. When did he have to start living his life worried about their prejudices? Wait a minute, he can’t buy a fancy belt, because prejudiced people won’t like that, and will find it suspicious?
    Assuming you’re white; you’re not going to avoid buying and wearing a fancy cowboy hat, just because some idiots would prejudge you to be a “racist southerner” would you? I know you wouldn’t care about that opinion. The same applies here.

    He’s living in NEW YORK CITY with his mom. It’s extremely hard to get a gun legally in New York, genius. And he has already spoken to a lawyer and is filing a lawsuit against NYPD and Barney’s…. so your gun/lawyer analogy automatically fails. (Not sure what cheap goods, war equipment, or government compulsion has to do with anything here.)

    This kid had every civil right to buy a belt from this store. He was not looking for racially prejudiced people. He was looking to buy a fancy belt.
    What they need to do, is identify the individual that made the call to the police, so that they can get sued too.

  • Mario Lawrence

    Since, there seems to be a trend of downplaying how rotten racial prejudice is around here let’s try to draw a different lesson.
    The moral of this story is:
    “If you have a prejudice about another person, you better not act on it; because if your prejudice proves to be wrong, you can very well find yourself staring down the barrel of a lawsuit.”

    Keep being prejudiced if you want, but stay your hand, and shut your mouth… for your OWN sake.

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