An Ohio Bank Called 911 On This Man For Trying To Cash His Own Paycheck

A sad case of banking while Black.

Paul McCowns
Photo Credit: Screenshot

| December 19 2018,

9:36 pm

If you make good money, be careful when you cash your check, or you could end up in a police cruiser.

That’s what happened to Paul McCowns when he tried to cash a check from his new job at an electric company in Brooklyn, Ohio, reports WOIO.

McCowns went to a branch of Huntington Bank to get the $1,082 his check entitled him to, and from all accounts, he did everything right. Since he didn’t have a Huntington account, he produced two forms of identification and volunteered to be fingerprinted. The teller was suspicious and not sure that such a large check was real and asked for his boss's phone number. McCowns handed it over.

“They tried to call my employer numerous times. He never picked up the phone,” he said, according to WIS10.

The teller refused to process the check, so McCowns left.

“I get in my truck, and the squad car pulls in front of me, and he says get out the car,” he recalled.

A bank staff member called the police as McCowns left. In a 911 recording, the employee can be heard accusing McCowns of fraud.

“He’s trying to cash a check, and the check is fraudulent. It does not match our records,” the caller said.

“Does he know you called 911?” the operator asked.

“No,” they answered.

McCowns was handcuffed and placed in a police car until his employer finally called to verify his employment.

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

McCowns was “hurt” by the situation and believes he was racially profiled. He wants a sincere apology from the bank and hopes the person who called the police would be disciplined.

A Huntington spokesperson released a statement accepting responsibility for the incident and claiming the company has tried to call McCowns without receiving an answer.

“We sincerely apologize to Mr. McCowns for this extremely unfortunate event. We accept responsibility for contacting the police as well as our own interactions with Mr. McCowns,” the Huntington spokesperson said. “Anyone who walks into a Huntington branch should feel welcomed. Regrettably, that did not occur in this instance, and we are very sorry."


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