Ryan Coogler — director of the hit Marvel movie “Black Panther” — was mistaken for a bank robber and detained by police after he tried to withdraw a large amount of cash from his own bank account, according to WSB-TV Atlanta.
The event occurred on Jan. 7, 2022, at a Bank of America branch in the Atlanta, Georgia, area. A statement regarding the event was released by the Atlanta Police Department on Friday.
What happened?: A Bank of America employee was alarmed when Coogler wrote a note on the back of the withdrawal slip stating that he wanted her to be discreet when handing him the cash, according to the Atlanta Police Department.
- When Coogler allegedly wanted to withdraw over $10,000 from his bank account, an alert on the bank teller’s computer stated that the transaction was risky.
- The teller allegedly went to the back to speak to her manager, stating that she thought Coogler was trying to rob the bank. The manager called 911.
- Police arrived on the scene and arrested Coogler, as shown in body camera footage posted by WSB-TV Atlanta.
- “The incident is a mistake by the Bank of America and that Mr. Coogler was never in the wrong and was immediately taken out of handcuff,” read the statement by the Atlanta Police Department.
Why was Coogler withdrawing so much cash?: Coogler said that he was withdrawing the money to pay a medical assistant who preferred to be paid in cash, according to reports. He then reportedly asked for a discreet withdrawal because he wanted to be safe while carrying large amounts of cash, reported The New York Times.
- “Otherwise, the whole bank ends up looking at us, so I don’t feel safe to get money out like that, so I usually put a note on the envelope,” said Coogler, reported WSB-TV Atlanta.
- “I don’t know who made that call, but I just had guns drawn on me for taking money out of my own account,” said Coogler, according to AP News.
The Bank of America apologized: “We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler,” said the Bank of America in a statement according to WSB-TV Atlanta.