A Detroit man is taking legal action after he says his bank discriminated against him when trying to cash three checks related to a racial discrimination lawsuit. According to the Detroit Free Press, when Sauntore Thomas attempted to collect the payout from his employer, Enterprise, the police were called on him and a fraud investigation was initiated.
Thomas sued TCF bank on Wednesday for race discrimination, saying that he was humiliated by the actions the bank chose to take. He also insisted that the incident where two Livonia Police Department officers questioned him for an hour as two additional officers stood guard at the door would not have happened if he were a white man. The 44-year-old U.S. veteran and his attorney Deborah Gordon allege that this is a sheer case of “banking while Black.”
Gordon also tried to assist her client in resolving the manner by speaking with bank personnel and sending screenshots of the documents that proved the three checks which totaled $100K were, in fact, funds that were just won by Thomas. She insists the bank could have done a lot more on their part to confirm the checks were real, even if the computer read they were fraudulent, like the bank claims.
TCF responded to the allegations in a statement to CNN by saying, “We apologize for the experience Mr. Thomas had at our banking center. Local police should not have been involved. We strongly condemn racism and discrimination of any kind. We take extra precautions involving large deposits and requests for cash and in this case, we were unable to validate the checks presented by Mr. Thomas and regret we could not meet his needs.”
Thomas later took his checks, and his business, to a nearby Chase bank where he says the money cleared in 12 hours.