Friday, October 25, 2013

So I guess "shopping while black" is real

College student Trayon Christian decided he wanted a belt from Barney's (a luxury item store located on New York's Madison Avenue) and he did what most people do when they want something but don't have the money right away. He saved up for it. Nothing wrong with that right?

Trayon saved up the $350 for the belt and in April made his way to Barney's to purchase it. From what I can tell he didn't have any problems at the store but rather his problems started once he left the store.

About a block away an officer stopped Trayon and questioned him about his purchase, wanting to know "how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt" according to Christian's lawsuit that he is filing against the city and Barney's

Why a lawsuit? Apparently showing the receipt for the transaction (and ID) was not good enough for the officer and he was cuffed and taken to a police station while cops contacted his bank to confirm his identity and that he was the owner of the account.

Eventually everything checked out and Trayon was released. But the damage has already been done. The young man has already returned the belt to the store and it taking legal action.

Obviously the police were out of line. The officer went way beyond reason when checking his identity. While the store has released a statement claiming they had nothing to do with the situation that makes me wonder exactly how the cop knew to stop Trayon and question him about the belt. There are a few plausible reasons but they would be speculation at best.

Fact of the matter is this is story of a black man that couldn't even go buy a blasted belt without being reminded that he is a black man.

So much for a post racial society.