Macy's OKs racial profiling settlement

Friday, January 14, 2005

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Macy's has agreed to a settlement in a case in which black and Hispanic customers alleged the company targeted minorities in trying to catch suspected shoplifters, the retail chain confirmed Thursday.

The company agreed to make sure its security officers adhere to store policy and do not engage in racial profiling. A settlement with state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is expected to be signed today, said Macy's spokeswoman Carol Sanger.

Spitzer spokesman Brad Maione declined comment.

Under a tentative agreement, Macy's would pay the $600,000 for the state's costs of examining complaints from black and Hispanic customers who said they were more often detained, questioned, searched and handcuffed than white customers, according to a law enforcement official familiar with Spitzer's investigation.

Macy's has agreed to adopt several measures including appointing a worker to investigate complaints and to train and supervise security personnel, the source said. It will also train security officers and sales people on how to avoid any profiling, and hire an outside auditor to perform unannounced reviews, according to the source.

The case involved the company's Macy's East branch, which has stores across the Northeast.

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