Joe Morrow had just finished a 12-hour shift as an “order picker” at a grocery distributor in Hopkins last year when he stopped at a U.S. Bank branch in Columbia Heights to cash his paycheck.
Despite having an account with the bank and showing his ID, that simple transaction led to a call to police, threats of arrest, and Morrow being placed in handcuffs.
A bank manager told officers he suspected the check was a fake, but police body camera video shows he only called Morrow’s employer for verification after the 23-year-old Black man was removed from his office.
The check was, in fact, real.
U.S. Bank disputed Morrow’s allegations of racial profiling but quietly agreed to a confidential settlement two weeks after 5 INVESTIGATES started asking questions about the incident.
Lawyers and advocates say Morrow’s experience raises questions about implicit bias and is part of a national phenomenon that more Black Americans have been documenting in recent years with the social media hashtag “Banking while Black.”
“When I’m coming out of (the manager’s) office I was handcuffed… people were looking… like I’m a criminal or something,” Morrow said.
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SOURCE: KSTP, Eric Rasmussen