Black man arrested when bank believes that his paycheck is fraudulent

Banking While Black: Cleveland Man Falsely Arrested Because Huntington Bank Believed Paycheck Was Fugazi

- By Bossip Staff

Cash department window

Source: Patrick Foto / Getty

Black Man Falsely Arrested When Banks Believes Paycheck Is Fake

Add this to the list of things that Black folks are not allowed to do in America. We can’t even work hard for our money and cash our check without being arrested.

A story in Cleveland19 reports that Paul McCowns had been working at new job for three before he finally got his first paycheck. When he went to Huntington Bank to cash his earnings he was asked for two forms of ID, which he provided. He also was asked to give his fingerprint, which he did. Then McCowns was told that his check was fugazi after tellers were unable to reach the electric company to verify it.

Here’s what happened next:

“I get in my truck and the squad car pull in front of me and he says get out the car,” McCowns said.

What he didn’t know is that as he was leaving the bank, employees called 9-1-1 on him.

Cleveland 19 News obtained a copy of the 9-1-1 call and police report.

“He’s trying to cash a check and the check is fraudulent. It does not match our records,” said the teller to a 9-1-1 operator.

The operator asked the teller: “Does he know you called 9-1-1?”

The teller responded: “No.”

*insert Mykelti Williamson Waiting To Exhale “You ragged b!t¢h” meme here*

McCowns was then arrested until the police could make contact with his employer. Upon confirmation and finding of fraud, McCowns was released and cashed his check the next day at another bank. He fully believes he was racially profiled.

Huntington had this to say:

“We sincerely apologize to Mr. McCowns for this extremely unfortunate event. We accept responsibility for contacting the police as well as our own interactions with Mr. McCowns. Anyone who walks into a Huntington branch should feel welcomed. Regrettably, that did not occur in this instance and we are very sorry. We hold ourselves accountable to the highest ethical standards in how we operate, hire and train colleagues, and interact with the communities we have the privilege of serving.”

The bank also says that there have been 11 fraudulent checks to come through that branch recently and tellers were overeager. Yeah. Sure.

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