The Oscar nominee was handcuffed after trying to discretely make a withdrawal of $12,000.
Black Panther director Ryan Coogler was trying to do a simple thing in January: withdraw money from his checking account at an Atlanta Bank of America. According to TMZ, unfortunately (but unsurprisingly), it went terribly wrong — because trying to do anything while Black in America can always go terribly wrong, even if you’re a famous director.
The Oscar nominee was wearing a mask and sunglasses, which at this point in the pandemic is very normal to see. He was trying to withdraw $12,000 — a large sum of money, but not a ridiculous one. With the very routine way things happen at banks, it should have been easy for the teller to look up Coogler’s account and see that that was possible. He included a note on his withdrawal slip that read, “I would like to withdraw $12,000 cash from my checking account. Please do the money count somewhere else. I’d like to be discreet.” The note was perhaps a little peculiar, but a far cry from how a bank robber would go about things — pretty sure they don’t ask nicely to make a withdrawal from their checking account.
Regardless, the teller, who was identified as a pregnant Black woman in the police report obtained by TMZ, alerted her boss that a potential robbery was happening when the transaction triggered a warning on her computer, and they called 911. The cops arrived and detained two people in an SUV waiting outside for Coogler, and then went into the bank and brought him out in handcuffs. Coogler was rightfully upset and reportedly asked for badge numbers from all involved officers at the time. The police quickly realized how big of a mistake had been made, and released Coogler and his friends. Coogler has since told TMZ, “This situation should never have happened. However, Bank of America worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on."