Bank Calls Police On Black Man Trying To Cash Cheque From Discrimination Lawsuit
Bank clerks refused to cash a black man’s cheque from a discrimination case believing it was fraudulent and called the police to intervene.
Sauntore Thomas, 44, claims that TCF Bank employees in Livonia, Michigan, refused to cash or deposit his settlement cheque on Tuesday, January 21, leading police to respond and a fraud investigation to be launched.
Following the ordeal, Thomas then filed a lawsuit against the bank for discrimination – following a previous lawsuit with his employer for the same reason.
Thomas, understandably, felt mistreated and humiliated by the bank who had been with for two years.
According to the police, the bank’s computer system wrongly flagged the cheque Thomas was trying to cash as fraudulent.
The bank manager said she was ‘checking’ the cheques in the back but called local police instead. Ten minutes later, four police officers arrived at the bank to talk to Thomas about the origin on the money he was trying to cash.
The 44-year-old explained to law enforcement that it was from a court settlement yet the bank still refused to deposit it and then filed a police report against Thomas for cheque fraud.
Speaking to Detroit Free Press, Thomas said:
I didn’t deserve treatment like that when I knew that the check was not fraudulent. I’m a United States veteran. I have an honorable discharge from the Air Force. They discriminated against me because I’m black. None of this would have happened if I were white.
Following the ordeal, Thomas called his lawyer, Deborah Gordon, who described the incident as ‘outrageous’.
The lawyers also went on to say she believed assumptions were made against her client the minute he walked into the bank.
TCF Bank has since issued an apology to Thomas who didn’t end up having charges filed against him.
The bank’s statement read:
TCF Bank is a diverse business serving a diverse community and we abhor racism in all forms. Mr. Thomas’ transaction was handled like any other transactions involving requests for large amounts of cash. We regret any inconvenience to Mr. Thomas.
Thomas is now suing the bank for unspecified damages.
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