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NYC Commission on Human Rights Launches Probe

The commission had sent letters to 17 chief executive officers of the largest retail stores doing business in the city.

HUMAN RIGHTS PROBE: At last week’s New York City Council hearing on recent allegations of racial profiling in department stores, Patricia L. Gatling, commissioner and chair of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, said the commission had sent letters to 17 chief executive officers of the largest retail stores doing business in New York City.

Gatling said she requested information on “loss prevention policies and procedures for approaching and detaining individuals suspected of theft, as well as records regarding all individuals accused of theft in the past two years, and what, if any presence, NYPD officers have in the retail locations.”

Gatling set a deadline of this past Friday to receive information from the retailers, otherwise they would be subpoenaed.

Reached for a status report Monday, Gatling said, “We have already received information from many of the stores, including Macy’s and Barneys, and have been in discussion with all the stores. This is an ongoing submission process and we will evaluate the information as we receive it. Clearly, this investigation is in the preliminary stage and will be ongoing. There will be no further comment until all information is received and evaluated.”