'Black Panther' Director Ryan Coogler Wrongly Deemed Bank Robber - Rolling Stone
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‘Black Panther’ Director Ryan Coogler Mistaken for Bank Robber: ‘Should Never Have Happened’

“We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened, and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler,” a Bank of America spokesman says

Ryan Coogler attends the 10th Annual AAFCA Awards at the Taglyan Complex on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Phil McCarten/Invision/AP)Ryan Coogler attends the 10th Annual AAFCA Awards at the Taglyan Complex on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Phil McCarten/Invision/AP)

Ryan Coogler attends the 10th Annual AAFCA Awards at the Taglyan Complex on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, in Los Angeles.

Phil McCarten/Invision/AP Images

Critically acclaimed Black Panther director Ryan Coogler was handcuffed and detained by police after he was mistaken for a bank robber while attempting to withdraw cash at a Bank of America branch in Atlanta.

“This situation should never have happened. However, Bank of America worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on,” Coogler said in a Wednesday statement to Rolling Stone.

According to the Atlanta Police Department incident report obtained by Rolling Stone, Coogler visited the bank branch around 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 7 and passed a teller a deposit slip with a handwritten note on the back asking her to be “discreet” with his sizable withdrawal request.

“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 note first reported by TMZ read.

The teller entered the request into her computer and received an alert saying the high amount qualified as a “high risk transaction,” she later told officers in an interview recorded on police bodycam video and reviewed by Rolling Stone.

“He did give me his ID. It was a California ID, but my stomach just started turning. Like, okay, you’re making a withdrawal, but you hand me a note on the back of a deposit slip and keep telling me look at the note, but you don’t want to talk to me,” the teller says in the video. “It was just weird.”

The teller, described as a pregnant Black woman in the police report, admitted to investigators that she was so “shook up” shortly before calling 911, she “didn’t look at his first and last name.”

Responding officers drew their guns and handcuffed Coogler inside the bank. They also detained two people waiting for the Fruitvale Station director in an SUV outside.

Coogler calmly answered questions from officers after he was placed in the back of a patrol vehicle still in handcuffs. He had to ask for the restraints to be removed during his lengthy interview at the scene, the bodycam video reveals. They finally came off more than 15 minutes after he was first cuffed.

“The responding officers acted appropriately given the information they had at the time, and quickly resolved the situation with no injury to anyone involved,” police said in a statement Wednesday.

“We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened, and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler,” a bank spokesman said in a separate statement.

Coogler, 35, has been working in Georgia on the highly anticipated Marvel sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, due for release in November.

In This Article: Black Panther, Ryan Coogler

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