'Treme' actor settling profiling suit vs. Macy's

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm •  Published: July 18, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — A black actor who accused Macy's of racially profiling minorities as shoplifters is settling his civil rights lawsuit, one of several cases that drew attention last year to long-simmering complaints about how big retailers treat minority customers.

Macy's Inc. and one of "Treme" star Rob Brown's lawyers said Friday they had reached a settlement, in principle. A federal judge had indicated in a filing Wednesday that an agreement was in the works.

Macy's and Brown's attorney Douglas Wigdor wouldn't discuss the terms. Macy's said only that it values every customer and remains "committed to ensuring that every individual who steps into our store feels welcome and appreciated."

Brown appears on "Treme," an HBO drama series, and has acted in films such as "Coach Carter" and "Finding Forrester." He said he was falsely accused of credit card fraud at Macy's flagship store after buying a $1,300 watch for his mother for her college graduation in June 2013.

He was handcuffed, held for almost an hour in a store detention cell and grilled about the watch by men who mocked the idea that he could afford it before he was released without any charges, according to his court complaint.

"I believe that I was profiled," Brown said last fall.

His lawsuit was among a series of complaints by black shoppers that spotlighted questions about security practices and profiling at Macy's and other major retailers in the city. Years earlier, Macy's had paid a $600,000 fine and promised changes after the state attorney general made similar claims.

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