People in New York City are buzzing about a boutique in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, accused of racially profiling a woman on Friday, May 4, and accusing her of shoplifting while she was trying on clothes with her teenage daughter, Gothamist.com is reporting.
As it turns out, the vintage store Amarcord picked the wrong woman – if the allegations are true. Nancy Bedard, who is black, is also a lawyer. Her husband Philip Sturges, is a lawyer too. He posted this statement to Facebook immediately following the incident, which also involved the couple’s 19-year-old daughter:
“Today a white female employee of Amarcord Vintage Fashion falsely accused by black wife, who is an attorney, of shoplifting, had the police chase her and our teenage daughter down in a cop car and violently handcuff both of them before searching her bag and determining she was innocent,” the post read. “This was pure RACIAL PROFILING by the Amarcord employee. BOYCOTT!!!!!”
A protest is scheduled outside of the store at 6 p.m. ET Saturday, Gothamist.com reported.
Amarcord’s owners, Patti Bordoni and Marco Liotta, posted a statement on their website accusing the couple of defaming their store. They said they have tried to apologize but have been unable to reach Bedard and Sturges, Gothamist.com reported.
“On May 4, a misunderstanding ensued inside our store which quickly escalated,” the statement read. “One of our employees politely approached two patrons to clarify a situation, which was immediately countered with the accusation that our intentions were racially motivated. Shocked, our employee pursued them outside in an attempt to sort things out. At this point, one of the patrons threatened our employee’s safety, humiliated her and berated her race, class, and physical appearance.”
Daniel Kron, a lawyer representing the store, told Gothamist.com that the incident was misrepresented.
“At no time did anyone at Amarcord say that anyone was shoplifting,” Kron told the news organization. “All that was asked was that they examine clothing that was taken out of the fitting room. The customer in question immediately placed the race card, saying, ‘Oh it’s because I’m black, isn’t it?’ “
Williamsburg, a neighborhood once noticed for its large population of residents representing the Jewish culture, now is one of New York City’s centers of widespread gentrification and development.
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Source: Entertainment – The Grio