Close to 35 police officers from the 43rd PCT. and many barricades to hold back the crowd outside of Macy's in Parkchester were on hand as close to 75 people rallied against the Macy policy of "Shop and Frisking" its minority customers. The rally was set up and run by 87th A.D. Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda who had State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., 85th A.D. Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Democratic Primary winner in the 86th A.D. Hector Pachardo, Councilwoman Annabelle Palmer, and 87 A.D. District Leaders Julia Rodriguez and William Rivera helping him with the action. 78th A.D. Assemblyman Jose Rivera was also on hand, but he was doing his usual filming of the people and left before the action began.
All three assembly members and Senator Diaz bemoaned the use of jails in many Macy stores to hold and intimidate minority people whom Macy's had security follow around the store and accuse of stealing. Senator Diaz said that people of color are then forced to pay a fine to Macy's or face the risk of being arrested. It was said that in many of the cases when the person refused to pay off Macy's the charges were dropped by the judge when it went to court. Sen. Diaz said though "How many people want to go through that, and have the embarrassment of being arrested, they just pay whatever Macy's says they have to pay and are let go". He added if they were stopped for a crime, "Why then does Macy's not call in the police"? Who is letting Macy's do this, and just how many people has this been done to?
Senator Diaz said he has introduced legislation bill # S5977 to stop this racial profiling that Macy's and other upscale stores are doing. The bill is to be introduced in the assembly by Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda. Each of the elected officials chastised Macy's for this policy, and soon to be Assemblyman Pichardo gave an account of when he was a teenager of being stopped while shopping in one such store.
The chant of the crowd went from "No More Shop And Frisk" to "Shame on you Macy's". I noticed some of the Macy employees looking at the crowd with a couple coming outside to see what was going on in the penned in area the police set up for the protest. I went into Macy's to see if there was any comment from the store, and was told "No comment from Macy's". At the end of the protest Assemblyman Sepulveda pledged that this was not going to be the last protest against stores like Macy's. "The protests will continue (and get larger) until Macy's and the others change their policies of racial profiling" he said.
Left - Just some of the police on hand for the protest against Macy's in Parkchester.
Right - The protesters as they were penned in across from Macy's.
Left - Assemblyman Crespo poses for this photo with a couple of the community affairs officers in the background.
Right - Some more of the police officers at the protest of Macy's.
Left - The crowd stayed for several hours as you see how dark it has become outside of Macy's in this shot. That's Female District Leader, and a community fighter for many years Julia Rodriguez hanging in there next to Senator Diaz as the protest continues.
Right - Soon to be Assemblyman Pichardo tells a story of how he was victimized as a teenager of this same situation Macy's is currently doing.