After Al Sharpton launched a boycott campaign against Barneys New York based on wrongful accusations of credit card fraud against Tryon Christian and Kayla Phillips, young black people, earlier this year. Barneys CEO Mark Lee immediately called Sharpton to cave. “Barneys New York believes that no customer should have the unacceptable experience described in recent media reports, and we offer our sincere regret and deepest apologies,” Lee said in a statement after talking with Sharpton.
Now, however, it turns out that Barneys didn’t racially profile at all according to an internal investigation done by US Commission of Civil Rights member Michael Yaki. Yaki wrote that Barneys did not “request, require, nor initiate” police action against Christian and Phillips. Sharpton immediately fired back that the report “raises more questions than it answers.”
As Yaki points out, Barneys has an anti-racial profiling code for employees. He also interviewed employees and the Loss Prevention department policies. According to reports, police officers confronted Christian after seeing him buy expensive merchandise despite no complaints from Barneys. The police had the same experience with Phillips. Sharpton’s response: “If they have given the NYPD the right to do what they want, and they’re racial profiling, then you have turned a blind eye to racial profiling.”
That, of course, is making private parties responsible for the possible but unproven misconduct of the NYPD. But that doesn’t matter to shakedown artist Sharpton.