Bank Called Cops on Black Cleveland Man Trying to Cash a Check

A Cleveland man says he was racially profiled at a local bank when employees called the cops on him while he was trying to cash a check, Cleveland 19 reports. Paul McCowns, who is black, was attempting to cash his first check from a new job when a bank employee asked him to provide two forms of identification and a fingerprint, he said. After McCowns complied, the bank employee then called his employer multiple times, but no one picked up. Bank tellers then told McCowns they could not cash the check, so he left the bank, unaware that they’d called the cops on him, he said. “I get in my truck and the squad car pull in front of me and he says get out the car,” McCowns said. Minutes after being arrested, police were able to get in contact with McCowns’ employer who confirmed the check was real.

According to representative from the bank, there had been 11 cases of fraud at the branch in the past couple of months, putting employees on high alert. “We accept responsibility for contacting the police as well as our own interactions with Mr. McCowns,” the bank said in a statement. “Anyone who walks into a Huntington branch should feel welcomed. Regrettably, that did not occur in this instance.”