Bank Is Sorry After Calling Cops on Black Customer

Paul McCowns was just trying to cash his paycheck in Ohio
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2018 12:48 PM CST
Black Man Tries to Cash Paycheck, Gets Handcuffed
McCowns says the incident was "highly embarrassing."   (Getty Images/fotofrog)

An incident at a bank near Cleveland has spawned an unfortunate hashtag: #BankingWhileBlack, reports NBC News. When Paul McCowns, who is black, showed up at Huntington Bank in the Ohio suburb of Brooklyn to cash his first check from a new job, the tellers got suspicious. After they tried calling the employer who issued the check and got no response, they turned McCowns away even though he provided two forms of ID as well as his fingerprints, as required for non-customers, reports Cleveland19.

That might have been the end of it, but bank employees also called police, who arrived and handcuffed McCowns in the parking lot and placed him in the police cruiser. Police released him after successfully contacting his employer. A bank representative said the bank had been hit with several fraud incidents in the last few months, though a later statement avoided making any excuses: "We sincerely apologize to Mr. McCowns for this extremely unfortunate event," it says. "We accept responsibility for contacting the police as well as our own interactions with Mr. McCowns." (This is far from the first such incident.)

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