Lawsuit Accuses Apple Store Of Racial Discrimination

A new lawsuit accuses employees at an Apple Store in New York City of telling two black men that they were unwelcome in the store.

According to Apple Insider, the plaintiffs, Brian Johnston, 34, and Nile Charles, 25, are suing Apple for discrimination based on events they say occurred in December 2010, when several employees at Apple's Upper West Side store allegedly forced the men to leave because of their race. The plaintiffs seek punitive damages due to damages based on "emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-pecuniary losses."

The lawsuit says that both men, wearing "baggy jeans and large sweaters with hoods" went into the store in the afternoon to buy headphones when they were confronted by a white Apple employee in his 50s. The Apple employee, about 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, allegedly came up to the men in an "intimidating fashion" and said, "You know the deal. You know the deal."

The employee allegedly asked Johnston and Charles to leave unless they planned to shop or see a Mac specialist. But, before either could respond, they claim that he told them they were not welcome because of their race.

"And before you say I'm racially discriminating against you, let me stop you. I am discriminating against you," the employee allegedly said. "I don't want 'your kind' hanging out in the store."

According to the suit, the two men were "shocked and humiliated" and used a cell phone to record what occurred.

Though they asked to speak to a manager, the suit claims that the store's Head of Security ignored them. After finding a manager, they complained that they had been racially profiled.

"In order to further harass, degrade, humiliate, and discriminate against Plaintiffs, the manager asked Defendant's Head of Security to call 911," the complaint reads. "Defendant interfered with Plaintiffs right to purchase personal property because of their race."

According to Apple Insider, the filing turned up after the case was moved to a District court from its original filing at the New York Supreme Court.

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