Kayla Phillips, a Black resident of New York City, says that she was accused of credit card fraud after buying a $2,500 purse.
The claim comes a day after it was announced that Trayon Christian, a Black man, filed a lawsuit against the NYPD after he said he was accused of the same type of fraud after buying an expensive belt.
Phillips, 21, says that she used a debit card to buy a $2,500 orange suede Céline purse.
The nursing student told the New York Daily News that she used money from her tax return to buy the purse.
But after she made the purchase, she left the Madison Avenue store and was confronted by four plainclothes police officers at the subway station at Lexington Avenue and 59 Street.
The guards started asking her questions about the purchase, and demanded to see her ID.
“They were very rough,” said Phillips, who has filed a $5 million notice of claim with the city of her intention to sue the NYPD. “They kept asking me what I bought and saying, ‘Show us your card.’ I didn’t know what was happening.”
A law enforcement source told the News that Barneys has undercover cops inside the store sometimes because of repeated fraud complaints.
Phillips said that she was using a temporary ATM card because she had just opened an account with Bank of America.
“They kept asking how I could afford this expensive bag and why had I paid for it with a card with no name on it,” said Phillips.
“If you were a victim of identity theft, if someone was trying to use your hard-earned money, wouldn’t you want us to investigate?” she allegedly told Phillips, after Phillips asked why they stopped her.
Barneys released the following statement on Facebook:
“Barneys New York typically does not comment on pending litigation. In this instance, we feel compelled to note that after carefully reviewing the incident of last April, it is clear that no employee of Barneys New York was involved in the pursuit of any action with the individual other than the sale. Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination and we stand by our long history in support of all human rights.”