New York subpoenas Macy's after racial profiling allegations

Dec. 3, 2013 at 2:49 PM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- New York retailer Macy's was subpoenaed to explain details of its controversial theft-prevention procedures, officials said Monday.

After accusations by African-American customers they were stopped and questioned after making legitimate purchases -- a tactic sometimes called "shop and frisk" -- Patricia Gatling of the city's Human Rights Commission said she was disappointed in Macy's lack of cooperation in an investigation "into allegations of racial profiling at some of the city's larger retail stores, and instead sought to dictate the terms and scope of our investigation."

The commission asked 17 retailers in November for information on their loss-prevention programs, including policies for approaching theft suspects and police involvement. Most outlets provided the requested information, but Macy's and Bloomingdale's, both owned by Federated Department Stores, and several others, including Old Navy and Banana Republic, did not, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

Macy's, the retailer Barneys and the city recently were the targets of lawsuits by three shoppers who claim they legally purchased merchandise but were falsely accused of theft, the newspaper said.

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