Just another day being black in Amerikkka…
This wasn’t the kind of starring role he was used to.
Rob Brown, star of the HBO show “Treme,” says he was “paraded” through Macy’s Herald Square in handcuffs and detained for an hour after being racially profiled and accused of using a fake card to buy his mother a $1,350 watch.
“The Express” star’s allegations against Macy’s come days after the Daily News revealed another high-end retailer, Barneys, was rocked by complaints it had racially profiled two black shoppers for credit card fraud when they made pricey purchases at the snooty store.
“Why was I put in cuffs? Why was I even approached?” Brown, 29, asked at his attorney’s office Friday night. “It was a slap in the face.”
Hasn’t Rob heard? Shopping while black is damn near a crime in NYC!
The actor, who also starred in “Don Jon,” was even more irate immediately after the June 8 incident, tweeting, “Don’t be black while shopping at #Macy’s Police might roll on u.”
A spokesperson for Macy’s said in a statement, “We are investigating the alleged claims, as we were just made aware of this lawsuit. We do not comment on matters in litigation.”
Brown said he was inspired to step forward by Trayon Christian, the 19-year-old who The News first reported filed suit against Barneys on Monday.
“He was brave,” Brown, 29, said. “It’s my duty to follow through.”
Here is the gist of Rob’s story
Brown, who made his movie debut starring opposite Sean Connery in 2000’s “Finding Forrester,” says he’d been shopping at Macy’s flagship store because he wanted to buy a graduation present for his mother, Myra, who received a degree from Metropolitan Community College.
He settled on a $1,350 silver Movado watch with gold trim. Brown said he purchased the last one, the display model, and strolled over to a Sunglass Hut in the store while he was waiting for it to be cleaned.
He said he saw some $350 Prada shades he liked and was also going to buy those — but while he was waiting for them to be tightened, he was suddenly swarmed by “at least three” plainclothes officers.
The Brooklyn-raised actor said he thought he was being robbed. He said he told the officers he wanted to see their ID, and the next thing he knew he was in handcuffs.
The suit says he was then “paraded” through the store like a criminal as the officers led him to a holding cell upstairs.
“They kept telling me, ‘Your card is fake. You’re going to jail,’” Brown said.
He said he “implored” them to check his ID — and a Macy’s employee did, going through the several pieces of identification he had on him one at a time.
Due process? You’re a black man, those type of legalities don’t apply to you…
Brown’s lawyer, John Elefterakis, said the store and the cops realized they’d “made a very bad mistake and an inexcusable one” while going through his bags.
He was released after being in cuffs for about 45 minutes without any charges.
One of the officers drove Brown, who also starred in “Coach Carter,” to the graduation ceremony — but he was late anyway.
“To be late for my mother’s graduation ceremony — that was devastating,” Brown said.
Later that day, Brown, who goes by the Twitter handle Broccoli Rob, tweeted, “Got arrested while buying my ma a watch. Thought my card was fake cuffed me and tossed me in a cell. Then realized they were d—s.”
Rob says that the recent racial profiling cases at Barneys led him to speak out about his experience and contends that Macy’s will never see another dime of his money, but he plans to see plenty of theirs after his lawsuit against them goes to court.
Image via WENN