(TheRedWire.com) – A 23-year-old man finished a 12-hour shift and headed to his bank to cash a paycheck. It’s a routine event that happens all over America. Unfortunately, the action led to massive problems for one of America’s largest banks this time. A US Bank branch in Columbia Heights, Minnesota, made a crushing mistake costing one of America’s largest banks a lot of cash and creating massive embarrassment for itself.
In the age of social justice, one should know better than to improperly racial profile someone. It wasn’t appropriate before social justice came to the forefront in America in 2020, and it certainly isn’t afterward. Despite him having a bank account at the branch, the bank insulted the black man, threatened him with arrest and handcuffed him over a simple transaction.
Branch Manager Ignores His Training
Joe Morrow simply wanted to cash a $900 check from the grocery store where he worked after a long shift. When Morrow approached the bank teller, he showed his identification, check stub, and bank account information. The teller responded inappropriately, saying, “you people,” likely referring to black people, often come into the branch to cash fake checks. Police officers escorted Morrow to a separate room.
Morrow said he worked for the employer who provided the check and believed the bank racially profiled him. At that point, police handcuffed Morrow and warned him to be quiet before suggesting they would arrest him for saying something he would regret. They stated his upset behavior made him look guilty.
After the bank manager confirmed the check was legitimate with the employer, bodycam footage revealed police released Morrow from the handcuffs. Allegedly, the police apologized for the interaction.
US Bank Initially Balks, Then Makes a Settlement
US Bank denied allegations the branch racially profiled Mr. Morrow. Yet, the bank ultimately settled for a confidential amount of damages with Morrow in a surprising turnaround. The settlement occurred within two weeks of the media asking questions about the incident.
Some argue Morrow’s experience raises questions about implicit bias. Through social media, black Americans have been documenting their interactions with banks through the hashtag #BankingWhileBlack.
On Friday, December 10, US Bank CEO Andy Cecere issued a letter fully apologizing for the incident and acknowledging their branch failed to accept full responsibility for what happened to Morrow. Cecere added that no customer should ever experience what Morrow went through and said the bank did not live up to its goals.
The CEO said the bank is updating its training program to ensure a similar situation doesn’t happen again.
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