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‘Black Panther’ Director Ryan Coogler Briefly Detained After Being Accused of Attempted Bank Robbery

Academy Award-nominated director Ryan Coogler was handcuffed and briefly detained by police officers in Atlanta, Georgia after Bank of America employee suspected him of being a bank robber. 

The incident occurred in January 2022. However, the “Black Panther” director recently confirmed the story with Variety, telling the outlet, “This situation should never have happened. However, Bank of America worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction, and we have moved on.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 04: Director Ryan Coogler attends the 19th Annual AFI Awards at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 4, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI)

According to police reports obtained by TMZ, which first broke the news, the 35-year-old was arrested after he made a transaction at a West Paces Ferry Road location of a Bank of America. Coogler, who was wearing a hat, sunglasses and a COVID-19 face mask, reportedly went to the counter and handed the teller a withdrawal slip with a note written on the back that 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.”

The teller, who has not yet been identified but was described as a pregnant Black woman, seemingly misinterpreted the message, thinking the “CREED” director was trying to rob the bank when the transaction amount triggered an alarm on the banking system since it exceeded more than $10,000. Shortly after, she notified her boss, and together, they called authorities. 

Coogler was detained, along with two other people who were outside in an SUV waiting on the director. Once police realized the situation, they released all three people. Bank of America has since released a statement, saying, “We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened, and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler.”

Social media users appeared stunned by the news, many of whom took to their platform to share their thoughts on the matter, including one Twitter user who wrote, “His note didn’t say “Put the 12k in a bag” It said he wanted to withdraw it from his checking. She should’ve just asked for his credentials and brought him the money.” That person added, “If anything, I’d be worried that it was him being robbed. Like sir, blink twice if you’re being extorted.”

Another person commented, “This whole thing was a mess, his note, teller panic, cop calling. I understand why he didn’t want customers witnessing a large withdrawal, so, like many people with large or other banking situations, go to the bank manager to have a large transaction handled privately-no note needed.”

Coogler is currently filming the highly anticipated “BP” sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” in Atlanta. The film is set to release in November.

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