ATLANTA – Police reports show that Black Panther manager Ryan Coogler was mistaken for a bank robber in Metro Atlanta Bank of America and taken into custody.
The incident occurred on January 7, 2022 at Bank of America at 1280 West Pieces Ferry, when police responded to reports of a man attempting to rob the bank.
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According to a report from the Atlanta Police Department, a Bank of America employee called the police after Coogler passed him a full withdrawal slip with a note written on the back asking money changers to be careful about the transaction.
When the officers arrived at the scene, Coogler was still inside the bank. Officers took him out and handcuffed him during the interrogation.
A new body camera video released by police shows the moments when police handcuffed Kogler and escorted him out of the bank. Another video shows the interview with the narrator, who said she got nervous when Coogler didn’t talk to her and kept telling her to read his letter.
“He kept saying, ‘Look at the note.’ My stomach just started turning because you’re withdrawing, but you handed me a note on the back of the deposit slip? Won’t you even talk to me?” The teller, whose identity was not revealed by Channel Two, told the police.
Officers determined that Coogler was trying to withdraw cash valued at more than $10,000. The bank teller received a notification from Coogler’s account and told her manager that he was trying to rob the bank.
Officers released a body camera video of their interview with Coogler, who said he was trying to pull money to pay a paramedic from his crew who liked to be paid in cash. He said he usually writes a note on the envelope to ask the teller to handle the request with caution.
“Otherwise, the whole bank would end up looking at us, and I don’t feel safe getting money like that,” Coogler told police. “So I usually put a note on the envelope.”
After getting Coogler’s side of the story, officers decided the incident was Bank of America’s fault and Coogler was released. Two people who were accompanying Coogler were also arrested and released, but their hands were never tied.
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Bank of America apologized to Coogler and let him go his way.
Bank of America issued a statement confirming the incident, writing:
We deeply regret this incident. It should never have happened and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler.”
Channel 2 Action News received a statement from Coogler’s PR team:
This situation should never have happened. However, Bank of America has worked with me and taken it to my satisfaction and we have moved on.
Coogler directed the original film Black Panther, which was the highest-grossing film ever for a black director. He was in Atlanta to direct the sequel to Black Panther: Forever Wakanda.
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