Shopping 'Bill of Rights' Targets Racial Profiling

Rev. Al Sharpton unveils plan in New York City
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2013 2:21 PM CST
Shopping 'Bill of Rights' Targets Racial Profiling
William Bratton, newly-named New York police commissioner sits beside Rev. Al Sharpton in New York, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A bill of rights for black shoppers? New York retailers agree it's worth trying. Pressured by Al Sharpton and civil rights activists, and facing a slow start to the holiday shopping season, big clothing stores in New York City have approved a "Customers' Bill of Rights," the New York Post reports. The Gap, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Macy's, and Barneys are among the stores promising not to target black shoppers who purchase expensive items. (New York is already investigating Barneys and Macy's for profiling, and Jay Z has gotten involved.)

Shoppers will be "treated with respect and dignity and are free from unreasonable searches, profiling and discrimination of any kind," according to the bill, which will likely be posted in stores this week. Stores are expected to test compliance with "internal programs" and discipline or fire workers who break the rules. Sharpton made the announcement today in New York, saying he had met with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and incoming Police Commissioner Bill Bratton this weekend—and requested a follow-up meeting with Bratton. "This is the beginning of a process, it’s not the conclusion of a process,” Sharpton said. (More racial profiling stories.)

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