According to NBC News, actor Rob Brown, a star on HBO’s Treme, is seeking to expand his racial profiling lawsuit against Macy’s into a federal class action lawsuit.
Brown said he wants to use his celebrity to fuel “social change”. Last month, Brown withdrew his lawsuit in the New York Supreme Court against the department store and the New York City Police Department and refiled in the U.S. District Court in lower Manhattan, in an attempt to seek class action status.
Brown said that he was shopping at a Macy’s recently when an undercover police officer handcuffed him and placed him in a cell at the Macy’s Manhattan store, accusing him of credit card fraud.
In his lawsuit, Brown claims that the police and a Macy’s employee could not believe that Brown, a young black man, could afford to purchase a $1,300 watch and sunglasses without “stealing someone else’s credit card”.
After realizing a mistake was made, the police officer who held Brown allegedly offered him an apology and offered to escort him to his next destination. “If he wasn’t Rob Brown, the actor, and he was just some person of color off the street, he would have been kept there, handed over to the police and charged with a crime he didn’t commit and put into the criminal justice system,” Brown’s lawyer said, according to NBC News.
Macy’s denied any wrongdoing. Brown’s lawsuit is on behalf of all “innocent Black, Hispanic, Asian and other non-White shoppers” falsely targeted for theft by the retailer and by police officers based on their race or ethnicity, according to court papers.
If Macy’s is responsible for racially profiling individuals across the country, it should be held liable for its actions. According to NBC News, in 2005, Macy’s paid $600,000 to settle claims that many of the chain’s New York stores had profiled customers based on race and handcuffed and detain those suspected of shoplifting.
If you have been wronged and you feel like you may have a case that could reach class action status, please contact either Gary S. Graifman at (800) 711-5258 or via email at [email protected], or Michael L. Braunstein at (800) 711-5258 or via email at [email protected].
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Class Action Lawyers