‘Black Panther’ director falsely accused of robbing Atlanta bank, arrested

'Black Panther' director Ryan Coogler was detained by Atlanta police after being mistaken for a...
'Black Panther' director Ryan Coogler was detained by Atlanta police after being mistaken for a bank robber at an Atlanta Bank of America branch.
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 11:08 AM EST
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ATLANTA (CBS46) -- A trip to the bank ended in handcuffs for “Black Panther” movie director Ryan Coogler in what police are now calling a “mistaken arrest.”

According to an incident report CBS46 obtained from the Atlanta Police Department, Coogler entered a Bank of America and attempted to withdraw $12,000. He wrote the request on a piece of paper and handed it to the bank teller. The note read “I would like to withdraw $12,000 cash from my checking account. Please do the money counter somewhere else. I’d like to be discreet.”

The bank teller apparently told police that Coogler did have his government ID and Bank of America card visible, but when she went to check his account she allegedly saw an alert notification and quickly told her manager that Coogler was attempting to rob the bank. At this point, police were contacted and officers responded to the scene.

Police say they initially confronted Coogler’s drivers who told officers that he was a movie producer and stopped at the bank to handle a financial transaction. Officers asked the drivers to describe Coogler and concluded that he matched the description of the suspected bank robber they were told about by dispatch. The drivers were detained and placed in the back of an APD patrol vehicle as officers proceeded to enter the bank and place Coogler in handcuffs.

Many online believe Coogler was racially profiled. The NAACP agrees.

“The presumption is always that they’ve done something wrong, he’s here to rob us. He can’t be here to withdraw money that’s his,” said Richard Rose, president of the Atlanta NAACP Branch.

The teller at the bank police say was a black pregnant female.

“The first reaction to oppression is resistance, secondly is acknowledgement, third is acceptance. When black people have accepted that white’s should be superior and that black folks are doing something wrong all the time, and she succumbed to the same thing,” Rose said.

In police bodycam you hear Coogler in disbelief.

“What’s going on?” - APD officer

“You serious you really trying to ask me what’s happening?” - Coogler

“At any given point did you pass a note?” - APD

“Yeah,” - Coogler

“why?” - APD

“Because I didn’t want somebody to know how much money I was taking out, every time I come get money out I give a not,” - Coogler

In the report, Atlanta police indicated the arrest was a mistake and the fault of Bank of America noting that “Mr. Coogler was never in the wrong and was immediately taken out of handcuffs.”

Bank of America issued the following statement:

We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler.

Bank of America

CBS46 is told Coogler requested the badge numbers of the officers involved.

Coogler sent CBS46 the following statement about the incident.

“This situation should never have happened. However, Bank of America worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on.”