NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) - The Macy’s flagship store is the latest to be named in a slew of “shop-and-frisk” allegations this week.
The case that came to light Friday involves Brooklyn actor Rob Brown, who has a list of impressive credentials including the lead in “Finding Forrester” opposite Sean Connery. Brown spoke exclusively with PIX11 about the experience during which he was allegedly cuffed and harassed while trying to buy a gift.
On June 8th of this year, Brown was in Macy’s to purchase a gift for his mother who was graduating that afternoon from Metropolitan College of New York. Using an American Express gold card he purchased a Movado watch worth $1350, he said.
All appeared well, but minutes later he was surrounded by three men in plain clothes, “For a quick second I thought, ‘Am I getting robbed now?, c’mon enough of this,’” said Brown in an exclusive interview with PIX11 News on Friday morning.
It ended up he being much much worse than a robbery, “They kept telling me, ‘Your card is fake, you’re going to jail’ and it was very clear that this was a lost cause,” said Brown. He added that he coincidentally had his driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate in a bag with him when detained.
When Brown was asked why they were sending him to jail? “I think it’s because I’m black. Now I’m trying to bring a little bit of levity to that, but that is the only reason I can think of.”
Macy’s, which is known for the Thanksgiving Day parade, had another parade at his expense according to Brown, “Well they put me in cuffs and paraded me through the store.”
Ultimately Brown was dumped inside of a cell at Macy’s where he tried to be reasonable considering the circumstances, he said. “While I was locked up I made a statement because I was angry but calm and I made a statement saying, I’m just trying to get to my mother’s graduation and you guys have me locked up in a cell for no reason,” he recalled. “And an officer said, ‘Look, if everything checks out I’ll drive you to your mother’s graduation.’”
Brown tweeted, “Got arrested at Macy’s 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.”
Less than an hour later the NYPD realized they made a major mistake, according to court documents.
Brown was on his way to the Jacob Javits Center in an NYPD vehicle with the lights flickering and sirens blaring.
He made it to the graduation in the nick of time, capturing a picture of his mother as she walked across the stage. Ultimately his arrest was voided, but his attorney, John Elefterakis, says the incident and the ride afterwards is indefensible, “It added insult to injury to have to be driven there, almost as if they were doing him a favor.”
Macy’s said via a statement that they were investigating the alleged claims.
They NYPD did not respond to an inquiry.