Black Teen Arrested in Posh NYC Store—Even Though He Paid!
"How could you afford a belt like this? Where did you get this money from?"
Accoring to a lawsuit filed by 19-year-old Trayon Christian, that's what undercover cops asked him after the engineering student paid for a $349 Ferragamo belt at tony department store Barneys New York with his debit card. Christian, who lives with his mother in Queens, is a student at the New York City College of Technology, where he has a work-study job. Christian told the New York Daily News he filed a lawsuit after being targeted by staffers who didn't believe he could afford the item.
On the afternoon of April 29, Christian, who said his paycheck had just been direct-deposited into his checking account, went straight to buy the expensive belt with a silver buckle and a reversible black and white strap.
“I knew exactly what I wanted,” Christian said. He said he'd perused the glitzy merchandise at Barneys before, but never purchased anything. “It was a quick trip. I gave them my debit card, I signed my name."
According to his lawsuit, the clerk asked Christian to show his ID, which he did.
“I showed my state ID,” he told the Daily News. Christian said that after the clerk accepted the ID and sent him on his way with his belt and receipt, he was approached by undercover NYPD detectives, who were incredulous as to how he could afford such a pricey item. In the suit, he claims he was then handcuffed and taken to the 19th precinct, where he was held for two hours before being let go with an apology from the police. (A spokeswoman for the NYPD claims Christian was brought into the precinct at 7:04 p.m. and was allowed to leave at 7:45 p.m.) “They said my card wasn’t real, it was fake. They said someone at Barneys called to report it,” said Christian.
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