New York’s top retailers agreed to an anti-profiling policy on Monday, hoping to recover from the damage dealt by various apparent racial-profiling scandals, the New York Post reports.
Barneys New York and Macy’s, the two stores at the center of the "shopping while black" controversy, have agreed to carry the "Customers' Bill of Rights" in stores and on their websites. This comes after several African-American shoppers claimed they were harassed and arrested by police after making high-priced purchases at the stores.
But even retailers that have not been flagged for targeting black shoppers—among them Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Gap—are adopting the list after facing pressure by the Rev. Al Sharpton and other activists.
"Profiling is an unacceptable practice and will not be tolerated," the one-page document, drafted by the Retail Council of New York State, reads, according to the Post. "Employees who violate the company's prohibition on profiling will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment."
According to the Post, a spokesman from Macy’s said that the company understood "the gravity of the situation." Macy’s is being threatened with a class-action lawsuit filed by Robert Brown, an actor from the HBO series Treme.
Barneys, another retailer facing lawsuits by two black shoppers, did not send a representative to the news conference.
One Barneys shopper called the program "a momentary sigh of relief" but says that only time will tell if it works.
Read more at the New York Post.