Black Panther director Ryan Coogler was detained, put in handcuffs after being mistaken for a bank robber

Ryan Coogler of acclaimed films Black Panther and Fruitvale Station was briefly detained by Atlanta police in January.
Ryan Coogler poses for a portrait at the Black Panther press junket at the Montage Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills.(Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
Ryan Coogler poses for a portrait at the Black Panther press junket at the Montage Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills.(Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
Updated on Mar 10, 2022 10:40 AM IST
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Filmmaker Ryan Coogler of Black Panther fame, in January, was briefly detained by Atlanta police after they mistook the director for a robber at the Bank of America. According to Variety, he confirmed the news to the outlet and said, "This situation should never have happened. However, Bank of America worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on." (Also read: Black Panther movie review: Unlike any Marvel movie you’ve ever seen, groundbreaking in so many ways)

The Atlanta police report states that the 35-year-old filmmaker was detained and handcuffed after he went to Bank of America to make a transaction on January 7.

Ryan, who was wearing a hat, sunglasses and a Covid face mask had gone to the bank's counter and handed the teller a withdrawal slip that at the back reportedly read, "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."

However, when the amount of the transaction exceeded USD 10,000 and triggered an alert notification from Coogler's bank account, the teller misinterpreted the situation as an attempted robbery and informed her boss of her suspicion. They then together called the police.

As police units arrived on the scene, they discovered a black Lexus SUV outside the bank with its engine running and two passengers, a woman and a man, seated inside.

The duo told an officer that they were waiting for Coogler, a "movie producer," who was making a money transaction. The cop asked the man for a description of Coogler and police said in the report that it matched the description of the male suspect that was "attempting to rob the Bank of America."

Coogler's colleagues were detained in the back of a police vehicle, and Coogler was handcuffed and taken out of the bank by two of the officers. After verifying Coogler's identity and his Bank of America account, the officers released him and his colleagues.

The police report also said that Coogler requested the name and badge numbers of all the officers.

Bank of America, in a statement told Variety, "We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened and we have apologised to Mr. Coogler."

Coogler has been filming the sequel to the superhero tentpole, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, in Atlanta. The film is set for release in November.

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