Ryan Coogler was placed in handcuffs earlier this year, after what should have been an innocuous trip to his local bank branch.
TMZ has obtained a police report detailing a January 2022 incident in which the Black Panther and Creed franchise director was mistaken as a bank robber.
Coogler stopped by an Atlanta area Bank of America branch, wearing dark shades and a face mask. When it was his turn, he handed the teller his withdrawal slip, with a note of additional instructions written on the back.
“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.”
Though the transaction was perfectly legal, the teller, detailed in the report as a then-pregnant Black woman, received some sort of alert on her screen when attempting the transaction. She made an assumption that something strange was going on – presumably due in part to Coogler’s covered-up appearance and his handing her a handwritten note. She reported the incident, and the police were contacted in relation to a possible bank robbery in progress.
When cops arrived, they immediately detained two of Coogler’s associates who were waiting for him inside a Black SUV parked outside the bank. Coogler himself was detained as well, escorted out of the bank in handcuffs.
Fortunately, after investigating the incident, police found that no illegal activity had taken place and that a mistake had been made on the bank’s behalf.
Coogler has been in Atlanta for several months completing principal photography for Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever. It is of note that Atlanta has experienced a severe spike in violent crime over the last year, which very well may have triggered Coogler’s desire for discretion during his transaction.
For their part, Bank of America has made things right with Coogler after this unfortunate incident. A representative for the bank shared a statement with Variety: “We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler.”
“This situation should never have happened,” Coogler shared in his own separate statement to TMZ. “However, Bank of America worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on.”