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Turkish woman suing Macy’s for racial profiling; says store uses codes for non-white shoppers

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A Turkish woman is suing Macy’s, claiming the the department store has an arrest quota and uses secret codes to identify non-white shoppers, the Daily News reports.

Ayla Gursoy, 62, claims in the suit she was arrested while shopping at the Herald Square store in September, 2010. The shoplifting charges against her were later dismissed.

One of Gursoy’s attorneys, Faruk Usar, says she does not speak English well and did not know why she was being arrested. He says she was put in a holding cell for close to four hours.

Macy’s security guards had a quota system, Gursoy contends, to make at least five arrests per week. “Race codes” were used to identify shoppers. African-American men were “10-90s,” and African-American women were “10-91s.” Other codes were used to identify Middle Eastern, Hispanic and other non-white shoppers.

“This is not a new case, we brought this case several years ago when this first happened,” Gursoy’s second attorney, Eli Uncyk, says. “It’s only getting attention now because there are prominent people and other people coming to the forefront.”

A store detective did confirm the “five arrests per week” goal for security guards in a deposition.

Macy’s declined to comment on the allegations.

3 comments

  • Alan Jacobs

    This is a truly amazing story. That this type of targeting of the most helpless people by a large retail firm like Macy's goes on today is truly bizarre. Macy's needs to explain itself. Eli Uncyk is a great lawyer and really decent person. The women who was held in a Macy's cell is lucky to have him looking after her interests.

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