Is the Barneys retail store committing racial profiling?

That's what protesters in New York City are saying.

A small group gathered outside the store Wednesday to express outrage over black customers' complaints they were stopped by police after making luxury purchases.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) TYREIK, BARNEYS PROTESTER, SAYING:

"Especially me as a teenager, when I walk into stores such as Barneys, there's a lot of attention on me because I'm a black, African-American teenager. So therefore, I feel like I should stand up for myself."

The protest stems from several alleged incidents, including one involving Brooklyn nursing school student Kayla Phillips.

She says she was surrounded by four undercover police officers in February when she left Barneys after purchasing a $2,500 Celine handbag.

The police and the store have traded blame over the incidents dubbed as "shop and frisk."

Barneys officials said the police acted on their own and New York's Civilian Complaint Review Board is investigating the complaints.

 

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