Three NYC Councilmembers Condemn P.C. Richard & Sons "Bigotry" For Detaining NYPD Officer

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Jumaane D. Williams

Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn), Deputy Leader and Chair of the Council's Housing and Buildings Committee, and Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson (D-Bronx), Chair of the Council's Public Safety Committee, and Council Member Debi Rose (D-Staten Island), Deputy Leader and Chair of the Council's Committee on Waterfronts, released the following statement after New York Police Department (NYPD) officer Sammari Malcolm from Brooklyn, filed a lawsuit alleging employees at the PC Richard & Son store in Lawrence, NJ harassed him for "shopping while black" by detaining him and calling local police.

"We are extremely troubled to learn that a Brooklyn NYPD officer who works in the 120th precinct was stopped, frisked and detained in an electronic store for 'shopping while black.' To target and harass a law enforcement officer simply because of the color of his skin further proves that to this day, racism and bigotry are still pervasive. Though this incident happened outside of the five boroughs, PC Richard & Son has many locations in New York City.  This unacceptable incident should be seen as an opportunity to reevaluate the company's ethos, retrain employees, and open up conversations surrounding this disheartening reality.

"We know, however, that PC Richard & Son is not the only store that has recently exhibited racial discrimination, including several luxury department stores in our own city. In 2013, we introduced legislation that would require the NYPD to disclose contacts with privately-owned businesses in response to an array of 'Shop and Frisk' incidents, with the hope that this will ensure a written record to gauge profiling practices. We look forward to having a hearing on this bill and moving it through the Council to combat these discriminatory practices that have negatively impacted communities of more color for far too long."

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