A Georgia doctor believes he was racially profiled after a bank employee called the police on him when all he was trying to do was open a new bank account with his wife.
Dr. Onyegbula had gone to the United Community Bank on Eagles Landing Parkway to open a new bank account with his wife. As he spoke to his wife on the phone outside of the building, he found out that he was locked out of the bank.
“I looked at the door and it said close at 4:30 and my time say about 2:15, 2:10. I’m like what happened?” Onyegbula said.
Little did he know, at the same time, a bank employee was on the phone with 911.
WSBTV received the audio from the call.
“He went to the front door and he’s been on his phone, and, I, um, called from my phone to tell the employees to lock the front door,” the bank employee could be heard saying.
Apparently, the bank employee didn’t like the fact that Onyegbula was on the phone, or walking, deeming him a possible threat.
“He’s been on his phone out front. And we have no cars in the parking lot. He’s a walker. So, I feel like he’s up to no good,” the employee added.
After having difficulty getting into the bank, Onyegbula, who apparently by that time had been joined by his wife decided to go to another bank, which is when they encountered police and realized that someone had made a call about him.
“Here come the same police, came inside the bank, now it’s two of them, and they said they told the manager to clear the room, because they wanted to talk to us,” Onyegbula said.
Eventually, officers left without filing any charges, but Onyegbula firmly believes this was a case of racial profiling.
“Until it happens to you, you never know what it feels like,” he told the news station.
“I think they need training on how to deal with people. You cannot judge someone from the outside,” he added.
United Community Bank later released a statement, noting that they personally apologized to the couple for the incident.
“For privacy reasons, we do not comment publicly about the details of any customer or potential customer transactions. However, providing excellent customer service is our top priority and we are disappointed that we didn’t deliver that to Drs. Onyegbula and Tedga in this case. This afternoon we were able to speak directly with Drs. Onyegbula and Tedga to personally apologize for the misunderstanding. We are glad for the opportunity to connect and improve, and hope to have an opportunity to earn their business in the future.”