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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Black Man Put in Handcuffs After Bank Calls 911 Because They Thought His Paycheck Was Too Much

Paul McCowns

Paul McCowns

Cleveland, OH — Paul McCowns, a 30-year old African-American man from Cleveland, says he was racially profiled at the bank when he tried to cash his first paycheck. The bank employees reportedly called the police on him because apparently they were suspicious about his salary.

After working for three weeks in his new job at an electric company, McCowns went to a Huntington branch in the Cleveland suburb of Brooklyn on December 1st to cash his first paycheck which was worth over $1,000.

The bank asked for two forms of ID, which he provided. As per a standard procedure for non-Huntington customers trying to cash checks, McCowns also provided a fingerprint.

Despite providing the requirements, bank employees seemed suspicious of the legitimacy of his check. They kept looking at the computer screen and questioning the transaction. They refused to cash the check until they could talk to his employer over the phone to confirm, but he wasn’t able to answer the numerous calls.

McCowns left the bank after being informed that he could not cash his check. Moments later, he was handcuffed and placed at the back of a police cruiser.

“I get in my truck and the squad car pull in front of me, and he says, ‘Get out the car,'” McCowns told Cleveland 19.

An employee apparently called 911 and said that McCowns was trying to cash a fraudulent check that does not match their records. The police held McCowns in custody until they were able to contact his employer who confirmed that he works for his company and that he was really paid that much.

The police confirmed that there was no fraud and McCowns was able to cash his check the next day on a different Huntington location without any trouble.

Meanwhile, the bank claims that there have been 11 recent cases of fraud at their branch and that is what made the employees in high alert.

“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.”

McCowns said the bank must apologize to him for what appears to be racial profiling and the employees must be held accountable. The bank representative said they already called him but he hadn’t returned their call yet.

Watch the news coverage below:

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