New York Teen Trayon Christian Arrested For Expensive Taste And Being Black, Lawsuit Says

Trayon Christian, a 19-year-old engineering student, liked the designer belt he saw in an expensive New York City department store, so he bought it. Christian’s expensive taste was costly in more ways than one; combined with his skin color—he’s black— that pricey purchase landed Trayon Christian under arrest in a local police precinct.

“His only crime was being a young black man,” Christian’s attorney, Michael Palillo, told The New York Post.

Trayon is suing Barneys, the store where he purchased the belt, and the NYPD, who are already having a bad month. The suit says that Trayon Christian paid for the $350 Ferrogamo belt with his Chase debit card and was stopped a block away from Barneys on Madison Avenue by two undercover officers. Upon seeing the belt, the officers asked Christian “how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt,” according to the suit. It seems the Barneys clerk who rang up Trayon Christian’s transaction, despite asking for his identification at the time of purchase, called police claiming the purchase was a fraud.

Trayon Christian was then handcuffed and took a ride to the local precinct, where he produced his ID, receipt and debit card to clear up what was turning into quite the misunderstanding.

“In spite of producing such documentation, Christian was told that his identification was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase,” the lawsuit reads.

Eventually, the police called Chase, who verified Christian’s ownership of the card, and released Trayon with their apologies. but “it wasn’t a sincere ‘sorry,’ more of a matter-of-fact ‘sorry,'” Palillo said.

“This is an outrage. He committed no crime,” he said. “He’s a young black male who likes fashion,” Palillo said.

“I brought the belt back to Barneys a few days later and returned it. I got my money back, I’m not shopping there again,” Trayon Christian told the New York Daily News. “It’s cruel. It’s racist.”

What do you think about what happened to Trayon Christian? Was Trayon Christian the victim of profiling? What kind of justice does Trayon Christian deserve?

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