HBO actor settles with Macy's, NYC in "shop-and-frisk" suit

Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:26pm EDT
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By Curtis Skinner

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actor Rob Brown of HBO's "Treme" has settled a federal discrimination lawsuit against Macy's Inc and the city of New York, the retailer said on Thursday, resolving part of a "shop-and-frisk" controversy over racial profiling in the city.

U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield dismissed the case on Wednesday, citing a settlement in principle between the parties, court records showed.

Neither Macy's nor the city would provide further information on Thursday as details had not been finalized.

Brown sued the department store and the city in November, saying that after purchasing a $1,300 gold Movado watch for his mother as a graduation present last June, he was detained and handcuffed by three men he believed to be police officers.

The controversy surrounding his arrest and those of other black shoppers with similar complaints last year sparked debate about racial stereotyping and prejudice.

The practice was coined "shop and frisk" in a twist on the controversial policing practice of "stop and frisk."

Macy's said it would also be settling other lawsuits alleging racial profiling. At a hearing on Monday in Brown’s case, a lawyer for the company said there were two cases pending in state court and a third in federal court.

"Our company strictly prohibits discrimination of any kind and has zero tolerance for racial profiling," Macy's said in a statement.   Continued...

Actor Rob Brown, poses as he arrives at the film's premiere in Hollywood, California March 17, 2008.  REUTERS/Fred Prouser