'Black Panther' Director Ryan Coogler Mistaken for Bank Robber: 'Should Never Have Happened'
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 in January.
“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 says in a statement to Rolling Stone after TMZ first reported the incident early Wednesday.
“We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened, and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler,” a bank spokesman says in a separate statement.
According to the police report obtained by TMZ, Coogler was wearing a hat, sunglasses, and a pandemic mask when he handed a teller a withdrawal slip with a handwritten note on it.
“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 purportedly read.
The teller allegedly entered something into a computer that triggered an alert, and police were summoned on suspicion of an attempted robbery. Responding officers handcuffed Coogler and also detained two people waiting for the Fruitvale Station director in an SUV outside.
The police report obtained by TMZ describes the teller as a pregnant Black woman. The investigation determined the teller’s error, and Coogler was released.
The Atlanta Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Coogler, 35, has been working in Georgia on the highly anticipated Marvel sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, due for release in November.
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