Trayon Christian of Queens, New York was arrested after paying for a $349 belt.

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.)

Read the entire story here.



Diana Hayton's picture
Diana Hayton
Submitted by Diana Hayton on

This just pisses me off! Boycott! Shame on you NYPD! We go through similar here in Alaska. I am Alaska Native and am often followed/watched in stores. It. Truly hurts because I don't believe in stealing. Was taught better. Good luck.

Estan's picture
Submitted by Estan on

I really wish that the ICTMN editorial staff would look just a bit more closely at their articles before posting them online. Nearly every article I read has some mistake in it that could easily be fixed if the editor just paid closer attention. Heck, I'll even volunteer my services to proofread the articles.

Barbara lattimore's picture
Barbara lattimore
Submitted by Barbara lattimore on

so the differance in time makes it ok what they did.

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on

He should have never been taken in to begin with! Shows that Racism is all they are!

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on

All the cops had to do was check that his card went through and he had a receipt. That should have been enough to show it was a legitimate purchase. If the store was satisfied, the cops should have been too. Hand cuffing the kid and taking him into custody is proper grounds for a law suit. I hope the kid wins.

Pauline Marshall's picture
Pauline Marshall
Submitted by Pauline Marshall on

Time Out 4 The Racist Altitudes Of These Racist Store Clerk And The Police Dept. And The Store Clerk Along With The Police Officers Fired As Well Sued Their Butts And Make Them Do Community Work In A African American Neighborhood 4 At Least One (1) Yr.

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on

Y just because he is BLACK Y don't U NYPD pigs look in 2 your officers taking under the table money from the MOB and DRUG DEALERS 2 keep quite on what thay are doing that's how some of your can buy the all new cars and houses that thay have in the well 2 do playes were the rest of your officers cant live and the big bank accounts with large a mounts of money in them Y don't U look in 2 them

Louise Wayka's picture
Louise Wayka
Submitted by Louise Wayka on

I have had experiences where I was followed around in the store, probably because I look young and Native it was very cliche, 23 yrs old but I look younger all I wanted to do was buy a 12 pack of soda but the alcohol isle was right next to the soda I mean really not all Native Americans are alcoholics.