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Outrage over alleged 'shop and frisk' incidents at Macy's and Barneys

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

You've heard of stop and frisk. Now some are claiming there's also shop and frisk -- racial profiling of black customers that ends up with encounters with police. Four complaints have surfaced so far, with the possibility of more.

Now the NYPD is investigating.

Barneys New York on Madison Avenue is the focus of complaints by two young African-American shoppers who bought luxury designer leather goods and claim they were stopped by police on suspicion of credit card fraud, even though their cards were valid.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told Good Day New York that the department is looking into the actions of police.

"Just to sort of get the bigger picture, there are thousands of arrests of people who are committing larcenies, or accused of committing larcenies in major retailers," Kelly said.

Two Macy's shoppers are also speaking out about their treatment. One shopper is actor Robert Brown, a star of HBO's "Treme." He is suing the retailer. He said he was paraded through the store in handcuffs after purchasing an expensive watch for his mother.

Art Palmer said he was stopped by police on the street and forced to show receipts after buying $320 worth of polo shirts with his Macy's platinum and American Express cards.

"I said is this their job to follow me, 3 or 4 blocks and look through my merchandise?" Palmer said.

State Sen. Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain, said it is time to speak out.

"If he could afford to buy something with a platinum card, he should not be stopped because his skin is black," Adams said. "And that's the reality, and that's why we're saying this cannot happen in New York."

A Macy's spokesperson said the store is investigating the alleged claims, and do not comment on matters in litigation.

Barneys said in a statement: "Barneys New York believes that no customer should have the unacceptable experience described in recent media reports, and we offer our sincere regret and deepest apologies. Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any forms of discrimination."

The CEO of Barneys on Tuesday will go uptown to the Harlem headquarters of Rev. Al Sharpton to meet with him and community leaders.

As of now, Jay-Z's planned involvement with a Barneys holiday project is still a go, but the superstar said he is waiting until all the facts are in before making any decision about his partnership with Barneys.

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