The latest allegation of racial profiling at a major NYC retailer comes from a woman who was a rookie NYPD officer at the time when she was accused of shoplifting from Macy's, on Black Friday last year. Jenny Mendez says she lost her job with the NYPD because of the false arrest, and she's now suing the department store for $40 million. According to court papers obtained by DNAinfo, her case is bolstered by a store detective who admitted in open court that he lied about Mendez's arrest:
Mendez, who lives in the Bronx, was acquitted of the shoplifting charges in September. During the two-day bench trial, a store detective took the stand and admitted her supervisors told her to fudge paperwork.
The store detective, whom the lawsuit only names as Trouche, testified that she checked "yes" in a section of her report in which it asks if Mendez admitted the theft. Trouche said she lied about the confession because it was "something our boss told us" to do, according to court records.
"It is apparent that the sole reason for stopping [Jenny] was due to her Hispanic heritage and that the subsequent arrest, detainment and prosecution was racially motivated," the lawsuit further alleges. Mendez, who was off-duty at the time of her arrest, was with the NYPD for less than a year before her termination.
Macy's has not commented on the lawsuit, which comes weeks after "Treme" actor Robert Brown sued the store for illegally detaining him after he purchased sunglasses at the 34th Street flagship location. The New York State Attorney General has since launched a probe of security policies at Macy's and Barneys.