Bank Mistakes Black Panther Director for Bank Robber

Ryan Coogler tried to make discreet withdrawal from his Bank of America account
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2022 12:35 PM CST
Black Panther Director Mistaken for Bank Robber
In this Jan. 30, 2018 photo, filmmaker Ryan Coogler poses for a portrait at the "Black Panther" press junket at the Montage Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and two colleagues were briefly arrested after he was mistaken for a bank robber while trying to discreetly withdraw $12,000 from an Atlanta bank. According to a police report obtained by TMZ, the 35-year-old went to a Bank of America branch on Jan. 7, wearing a hat and sunglasses as well as a COVID mask, and gave the teller a note written on the back of a withdrawal slip saying, "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 teller—described as a "pregnant Black female" in the police report—became suspicious when the large transaction triggered an alert from Coogler's account and told her boss she suspected a robbery attempt, reports Deadline. Police were called and they took Coogler out of the branch in handcuffs. Officers also detained two colleagues who were waiting in an SUV outside. The police report states that officers soon realized "the incident is a mistake by Bank of America and that Mr. Coogler was never in the wrong." He was immediately taken out of handcuffs and his colleagues were released from a patrol car, police said.

"We deeply regret that this incident occurred," Bank of America said in a statement. "It never should have happened and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler." Coogler—who is filming the Black Panther sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in the city—confirmed the incident in a statement to Variety. "This situation should never have happened," he said. "However, Bank of America worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on." (Read more Black Panther stories.)

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