Following the viral conversations surrounding The Tinder Swindler, Inventing Anna and the real-life PPP Loan fiasco, scamming has become a phenomenon that has everyone on edge. Still, that doesn’t give anyone the right to make the innocent ones out there feel like criminals without proper evidence.
We saw an example of false accusations being thrown around just a few days ago when Black Panther director Ryan Coogler was mistaken for a bank robber in Atlanta. Now, a similar situation has already come to light after a Black man in Arizona had the police called on him by a bank teller that wrongfully accused him of trying to cash a fake check.
According to 12 News, Almond Brewer did what any person would do after selling their boat for $3,200 and being paid by check; he went to go retrieve cash from the bank. However, what he thought would be a simple transaction turned into what some are now considering racial profiling on the bank’s behalf.
More details on what actually happened below, via 12 News:
“Brewer had just sold a boat to a woman on Facebook Marketplace. She paid with a check. His own bank suggested he take the check to the woman’s bank to get faster access to the funds.
He said when he gave that information to the credit union teller, she ‘kind of looked surprised.’
The Pinal County Federal Credit Union told 12 News the bank manager called 911 after running Brewer’s check through a 3rd party verification system. The results came out inconclusive. The credit union also stated that the manager was able to get ahold of the customer who wrote and verified the check while officers were on their way.
But the police bodycam shows the officers weren’t aware that the customer verified the check for about 10 minutes.”
As expected, Brewer has suffered stress following the wrongful accusation, which he thinks was due to the fact that he pulled up to the bank on a Harley with tattoos and dreadlocks. “Why embarrass somebody like that,” he said to 12 News, going on to add, “Why, you know, make them feel less than a man?”
The Pinal County Federal Credit Union claimed “red flags” when it came to verifying the check, including an old credit union logo in addition to routing and account numbers that didn’t match their member’s information. Still, Diamond Strategies LLC owner Matthew Whitaker — his company trains financial institutions on how to not commit errors just like this one — is the one who called it out for what it is, stating, “That [customer] could’ve been called immediately before anyone called the police. So why escalate that at that point? He was racially profiled.”
Let us know what you think of this case after watching the full report below:
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