Just days after a New York City teenager filed a lawsuit against Barneys New York for racial profiling when he was arrested after buying an expensive belt, another famous New York department store is feeling the heat.
Actor Rob Brown -- noted for his roles in films like “Finding Forrester” and “Coach Carter,” as well as the HBO series “Treme” -- has filed a lawsuit against Macy’s and the NYPD after he was subjected to a search by undercover detectives at Macy’s in Herald Square.
Brown says he was surrounded by cops after purchasing an expensive watch at the department store on June 8. “Police officers ran up to him, arrested him, and then kept him in a jail cell in Macy’s,” his lawyer, John Elefterakis, told the New York Post.
When Brown showed police his identification, he “was told that his identification was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase,” according to the Manhattan Supreme Court suit cited by the Post.
"No facts existed that would give rise to the inference that either the identification or debit/credit card was fake, false, fraudulent, altered, tampered, or in any other way unlawful," the suit says, according to the New York Daily News.
Brown was reportedly detained for more than an hour and then released without being charged.
“The bottom line is … this isn’t about money, this about proving a point,” Elefterakis said. “This is just something that shouldn’t happen.”
Macy’s responded by saying it was looking into the matter. "We are investigating the alleged claims, as we were just made aware of this lawsuit,” they said. “We do not comment on matters in litigation."
News of Brown’s lawsuit comes just days after Trayon Christian, a 19-year-old engineering student from Queens, was arrested after buying a $350 Salvatore Ferragamo belt in Barneys New York.
When questioned by police at the 19th Police Precinct, Christian was asked “how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt,” according to the lawsuit cited by the Post.
Meanwhile, a third person, 21-year-old Kayla Phillips, has come forward with a claim that she was stopped and searched by police at Barneys New York in February after buying a $2,500 Celine handbag. She has filed a lawsuit against the NYPD and is considering suing Barneys, the Post said.
Brown’s lawyer said his client was unaware of the other two cases until they became publicized this week.
Brown, who currently plays trumpet player Delmond Lambreaux on HBO’s “Treme,” rose to fame when he was cast opposite Sean Connery in the 2000 film “Finding Forrester.” In addition to starring in “Coach Carter” and “The Express,” he is currently in the film “Don Jon,” the directorial debut from Joseph Gordon-Levitt.