Actor, Macy's Settle Racial Profiling Lawsuit

Robert Brown settles, but no terms disclosed

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 19, 2014 1:34 PM CDT

(Newser) – One of the people who says he experienced racial profiling at Macy's just so happens to be an actor—and his lawsuit against the company, which made headlines last summer, has now been settled. Robert Brown, who appeared on HBO's Treme, said he bought a $1,300 watch at the Macy's flagship store in Manhattan, and was then shopping for sunglasses when he was stopped by three men he believed to be NYPD officers. They said he'd committed credit card fraud, Brown says. He was allegedly detained for nearly an hour before being released without being charged, NBC New York reports.

"They cuff me, parade me around the store, all the while maintaining, 'we do this all the time; it's a fake card; you're going to go to jail,'" Brown explained to Anderson Cooper in October, according to CNN. He said the people who interrogated him in a store cell also scoffed at the idea that he could afford the watch. Brown ultimately sued not just Macy's but the city of New York, accusing the NYPD of targeting him because of his race; both lawsuits have been settled, though the terms were not disclosed. In a statement, Macy's said it has also settled other racial profiling lawsuits and that it has "zero tolerance for racial profiling." Brown's had been the second incident publicized, but was the most high-profile case.

An unidentified sign company worker hangs the star in the Macy's department store logo on the outside of the Macy's in the Aurora Mall in Aurora, Colo., in this Sept. 7, 2006 file photo.
An unidentified sign company worker hangs the star in the Macy's department store logo on the outside of the Macy's in the Aurora Mall in Aurora, Colo., in this Sept. 7, 2006 file photo.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, file)
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