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Racially profiled? Black man refused by bank, arrested for trying to cash check

/ 01:38 PM December 19, 2018
Bank racially profiles black man stock photo

One black man alleged he was racially profiled at a local bank after a bank teller refused to cash his check, then called the police officers on him.

Paul McCowns of Cleveland went to a Huntington Bancshares branch in Brooklyn, Ohio last Dec. 1 where he tried to cash a check given by his employer. McCowns started a new job at an electric company and wanted to cash his first check , according to WOIO Cleveland19 on Dec. 18.


McCowns was asked to provide two IDs as well as a fingerprint, which is a bank policy for non-Huntington customers. Employees eventually started questioning McCowns’ transaction, which was for a check that was just a little over $1,000.

“They tried to call my employer numerous times,” McCowns was quoted as saying. “He never picked up the phone.”


McCowns was told by the bank they could not cash his check, so he left. By the time he got inside his truck, however, a police car pulls up and he was told by authorities to get out of the vehicle. He was then handcuffed and put in the back of the police car. He was unaware that bank employees called the cops on him.

“He’s trying to cash a check and the check is fraudulent,” the teller was found telling a 911 operator. “It does not match our records.”

Authorities eventually got to reach McCowns employer minutes after making the arrest, who confirmed McCowns’ check is legitimate and he is an employee of the company.

“My employer said yes he works for me,” McCowns said in the report. “He just started and yes, my payroll company does pay him that much.”

Brooklyn Police declared there was no fraud on McCowns’ part, who has since cashed the check at a different Huntington branch the following day. Meanwhile, the bank tried to call McCowns a couple of times to apologize, but could not reach him. Cody Cepeda/JB


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TAGS: Cleveland, Discrimination, Huntington bank, Racial profiling, Racism
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