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Barneys Agrees To Settlement Over Racial Profiling Allegations

The upscale retailer Barneys has agreed to a settlement over charges of racial profiling at its flagship store in New York.

The agreement includes a $525,000 fine, NPR's Sam Sanders tells our Newscast Desk.

"Barney's will also have to hire an independent anti-profiling consultant," Sanders reports, "and the retailer will have to implement new record-keeping measures to spot profiling and keep track of interactions with local law enforcement."

The nine-month investigation began after two black customers said they were falsely accused of credit card fraud after shopping at Barneys last year.

The New York Daily News has more on the state's review (which followed articles by the paper on complaints of profiling at Barneys and Macy's):

"State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's investigators heard from customers and former employees that a pattern of racial profiling began last year when the high-end store tried to crack down on a dramatic spike in shoplifting and credit card fraud.

"Complainants told Schneiderman's civil rights division that the store's security team — known as the 'loss prevention unit' — made a habit of keeping watch over black and Hispanic shoppers in disproportionate numbers."

Schneiderman said the agreement will "correct a number of wrongs," according the Daily News, "both by fixing past policies and by monitoring the actions of Barneys and its employees to make sure that past mistakes are not repeated."

In a statement, Barneys New York said it was "a truly progressive company that has absolutely no tolerance for discrimination of any kind."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Dana Farrington is a digital editor coordinating online coverage on the Washington Desk — from daily stories to visual feature projects to the weekly newsletter. She has been with the NPR Politics team since President Trump's inauguration. Before that, she was among NPR's first engagement editors, managing the homepage for NPR.org and the main social accounts. Dana has also worked as a weekend web producer and editor, and has written on a wide range of topics for NPR, including tech and women's health.
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