In 2013, the New York City College of Technology student purchased a $349 Ferragamo belt from the Barney After Christian, who was 18 at the time of the incident, walked less than a block away from the store, he was arrested and detailed by several plain clothes officers.
“They said my card wasn’t real, it was fake. They said someone at Barneys called to report it,” said Christian to the Daily News.
Despite sharing that he had a job on his college campus, the engineering major was hauled to the police precinct on suspicion of fraud. Officers asked him for his ID and repeatedly questioned how he could possibly have enough money to afford the belt.
Christian was placed in handcuffs and kept in a holding cell for nearly two hours before being released and given back both his belt and debit card. The police also apologized to him.
In 2014, Barneys agreed to pay $525,000 in fines and legal fees as apart of a larger federal case in which several other African American customers had their lavish purchases at the retailer question by authorities. The store also claims that it will establish a new anti-profiling loss prevention system.
Christian returned the belt following the incident.
When asked about the settlement, a spokesman for the city’s Law Department commented: “Resolving this litigation was in the best interest of the city.”