Blacks R NotUs : Says Toys R Us

An AP story has exposed the racism of yet another corporate house that projects itself innocent by dealing with children’s imagination.

Lawsuit: Toy R Us Targets Blacks By LARRY NEUMEISTER The Toys “R” Us toy store chain singles out black customers in a pattern of race-based stops, searches and wrongful detentions, according to a race discrimination lawsuit filed Wednesday.

The lawsuit, on behalf of people who believe they were unlawfully or unreasonably detained or searched because of the color of their skin, was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan and seeks class action status.

It says policies put in place by Toys “R” Us had subjected blacks to unjustified and unwarranted scrutiny, causing a disproportionate number of black customers to be assaulted, battered, surveilled, stopped, seized and searched without just cause. It seeks $400 million in damages and a court order to end discrimination.

A telephone message for comment left with a Toys “R” Us Inc. spokeswoman was not immediately returned Wednesday. Toys “R” Us, based in Wayne, N.J., is one of the leading retailers of toys and baby products with more than 1,500 freestanding specialty stores worldwide, according to its Web site. The lawsuit says black customers are subjected to compulsory inspection of their sales receipts after they buy merchandise and try to leave the stores, while white shoppers are not subjected to the same “heightened and biased” scrutiny. “These unconstitutional and illegal acts degrade, humiliate and cause grave harm to blacks,” the lawsuit says. It says undercover operatives, security guards and employees in the stores routinely surround black shoppers in front of friends, relatives or neighbors. The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit is Patricia Drayton, who says she was stopped by a security guard as she left a Toys “R” Us store in the Bronx on July 10, 2006, with her three grandchildren and their mother. The inspection occurred just after she had bought a $63.95 birthday gift for her grandson, the lawsuit says. When Drayton, who is black, refused to show her receipt, the security guard made her wait for 15 to 20 minutes while she tried to reach a supervisor for instructions, the lawsuit says. Drayton was then released. Outside the store, a white man told Drayton he was angry at how she was treated because he was not asked to present his receipt when he left the store, the lawsuit says.