A college student, who also happens to be a young black male, was detained by two undercover NYPD police detectives a few blocks from the Barneys store after he purchased a Ferragamo belt using his debit card. For NO reason. According to the NY Daily News, Trayon Christian showed them his belt, his student ID, and his debit card and the cops handcuffed him and hauled him down to the 19th precinct station house and held him for two hours. Trayon wasn’t mad or scared because he knew he hadn’t done anything wrong, but when he got home the whole bullshited-ness of the situation sunk in and he returned the belt to Barney’s and got his money back.
I’m not shopping there again,” he said. “It’s cruel. It’s racist.”
Christian is suing the NYPD and Barneys for unspecified damages.
And due to a question from twitter, I am adding this quote from the same article:
“They said my card wasn’t real, it was fake. They said someone at Barneys called to report it,” said Christian.
I’ve got the happy ending all sorted out in my head about this because I have been sitting here and contemplating how this story could be resolved and I have figured it out:
The Ferragamo company hears about this story and offers a public apology to Trayon, distancing themselves from Barneys and makes him their fall 2013 cover model as a way to make up for how shitty Trayon was treated, and also because he works while he is in college and everyone knows how hard that is on a kid. It would be great PR for them, and it would also give Trayon all of the high end belts he wants so he doesn’t have to subject himself to this racist nonsense again.
This is just such an ugly story and I feel so bad for this kid. I can remember being a teenager and wanting something so bad and working hard for it until I could afford it, but I was never subjected to the sort of profiling this kid was. He was young, black, and buying an expensive item, so the cops detained him. How can we expect our kids to grow up and be good kids when this is how they are treated when they behave in a perfectly normal fashion?