Black Woman: After Pricey Buy, NYPD Stopped Me, Too

Kayla Phillips is suing department for $5M

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 24, 2013 10:24 AM CDT

(Newser) – The story of a black teen who was cuffed by police after buying a $350 belt at an NYC Barneys felt all too familiar to Kayla Phillips. The 21-year-old tells the New York Post she was stopped by police after purchasing a $2,500 Céline handbag at Barneys in February. "As I was walking into the train station, four undercover police officers attacked me," she tells the Post. She described them to the Daily News as "three men and a woman. Two of them attacked me and pushed me against a wall, and the other two appeared in front of me, blocking the turnstile."

Phillips says she made the purchase with a temporary Bank of America card that didn't have her name on it, using money from her tax refund. She says the cops pressed her on why her name was absent and asked where she got the money to buy such an expensive bag. Phillips was let go after producing her ID and a new debit card, which had arrived that morning. Phillips' mom suspects a Barneys employee alerted police to the purchase; a store rep insists "no employee of Barneys New York was involved in the pursuit of any action with the individual other than the sale." Phillips is suing the NYPD for $5 million.

Pedestrians pass near the 'Barneys New York'  store on Madison avenue in this Nov. 11, 2004.
Pedestrians pass near the 'Barneys New York' store on Madison avenue in this Nov. 11, 2004.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, file)
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