Upmarket New York department store Barneys is at the epicentre of a race row.



Civil rights activist says black shoppers were detained at the store by police after making expensive purchases at an uptown luxury retailer. Outspoken reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network (NAN) has threatened to lead a picket against the ritzy department store if the alleged pattern of racial discrimination persists.

"We've gone from stop and frisk to shop and frisk, and we are not going to take it," Sharpton said on Saturday, adding that black New Yorkers "are not going to live in a town where our money is considered suspect and everyone else's money is respected".

Two black Barneys customers, Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips, said this week they were detained by police after making expensive purchases. Christian sued Barneys, saying he was accused of fraud after using his debit card to buy a 349 dollar Ferragamo belt in April.
 

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