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One hundred dollars in US currency

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We don’t know what is going on with 2018, but it seems that this is the year where Black people just living their lives seems to prompt folks to call the police called on us.

Case in point: A Cleveland bank called the police on a Black customer because they allegedly believed his paycheck was “too high” and was fraudulent.

Paul McCowns claims that while he was trying to cash his first paycheck from his new job at an electric company, he was racially profiled by a teller at Huntington Bank, who refused to cash his check.

According to WOIO TV, McCowns said his paycheck was a little over $1,000 and that he followed the bank’s rules of showing two forms of identification and a fingerprint, as required for non-Huntington customers.

But for some reason, that wasn’t good enough.

McCowns says that the employees began looking at the computer screen, questioning the transaction.

“They tried to call my employer numerous times. He never picked up the phone,” he told WOIO.

After tellers told him they couldn’t cash his check, McCowns said he left the bank. But when he got the parking lot, he saw the police cars and was instructed to get out his car. He was later handcuffed.

Police then told him that the tellers had called 911 on him, a fact he didn’t know.

WOIO obtained the 911 call and reported that the teller told the authorities, “He’s trying to cash a check and the check is fraudulent. It does not match our records.”

When asked if McCowns knew that the police were being called on him, the teller replied, “No.”

Shortly after, police got McCowns employer on the phone who confirmed that he worked for him and that his paycheck was that amount.

A bank representative apologized for the teller’s behavior to the news channel, explaining that because of 11 cases of fraud in recent months, their employees were being “hyper-vigilant.”

“We sincerely apologize to Mr. McCowns for this extremely unfortunate event,” the bank said in a statement.

“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.”

However, McCowns isn’t hearing it. He wants for the bank to apologize to him directly for racial profiling. Meanwhile, a bank rep claims McCowns has yet to return their calls.


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#BankingWhileBlack: Tellers Call Cops On Black Man For Thinking His Paycheck Was Too High  was originally published on