Midday Roundup: Protesting profiling at New York department stores

by Leigh Jones
Posted 10/30/13, 01:15 pm

Profiling? Protestors are planning to picket this afternoon outside the Barneys department store in Manhattan to draw attention to recent complaints the upscale store discriminated against African-American shoppers buying expensive items. Complaints from shoppers started pouring in after police stopped Trayon Christian, a 19-year-old college student, as he left the store with a $349 Ferragamo belt he just purchased. Officers held him for two hours before letting him go. Christian has since filed a lawsuit against the store and the New York Police Department. Three other African-American shoppers have similar complaints against Barneys and fellow retailer Macy’s. Representatives from both stores claim police acted alone in detaining the shoppers, all of whom were stopped after paying for their items.

Double entendre? A Pennsylvania middle school is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider its appeal in a case involving bracelets designed to raise awareness for breast cancer. The school banned the bracelets, which say, “I heart boobies!” in 2010. Administrators said the bracelets caused a disruption and contributed to a sexualized environment. Two female students sued, saying the ban infringed on their right to free speech. Lower courts have sided with the students, saying the school district couldn’t prove the bracelets were disruptive. Superintendent John Reinhart called the bracelets “cause-based marketing energized by sexual double-entendres.”

Terror attack or cover up? Chinese officials said today a fiery crash at the entrance to Tiananmen Square on Monday was a deliberate terrorist attack orchestrated by members of the country’s Uighur ethnic minority. Authorities arrested five men in connection to the attack, which killed five and injured more than 30. Three of the dead were in the SUV that plowed through pedestrians on a sidewalk before crashing into a gate and bursting into flames. Along with the bodies of a man, his wife, and his mother-in-law, police found gasoline, a gasoline container, two long swords, an iron rod, and flags inscribed with extremist religious text inside the vehicle. Uighurs are mostly Muslims who have maintained a long-standing fight with Chinese authorities over oppression and discrimination. Community leaders said they were skeptical of police claims about the investigation.

Rare find. Archeologists in London unveiled a statue they say dates back to Roman times. Researchers discovered the sculpture of an eagle with a writhing serpent firmly gripped in its hooked beak during an excavation to make way for a new hotel near London’s financial center. The statue is made of limestone and was well preserved. “The skill of the craftsman is apparent; with the forked tongue of the snake and the individual feathers of the eagle still clearly discernible,” according to a news release from Museum of London Archaeology.

Leigh Jones

Leigh is acting managing editor for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.

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