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Ryan Coogler Was Mistaken For a Bank Robber & Detained By Atlanta Police

In January, Bank of America staffers in Atlanta wrongly accused Ryan Coogler of staging a robbery during a brief transaction.

Filming for the Black Panther sequel is underway in Atlanta, and director Ryan Coogler briefly found himself in a tense predicament at a Bank of America in January. According to TMZ, Coogler was detained by Atlanta police after attempting to make a transaction.

Wearing a hat, sunglasses and COVID face mask, Coogler allegedly handed the teller a withdrawal slip with a note written on the backside.

“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 message read.

The teller, assuming that Coogler was attempting to rob the bank when she read the amount, triggered an alarm on the banking system. She then informed her boss about the transaction, to which the police were called. When officers arrived at the scene, two people in an SUV waiting for Coogler were detained, while police entered the bank and brought Coogler out in handcuffs.

Footage from the incident has also been released, one officer visibly drawing a gun on Coogler before putting him in handcuffs.

A second video showed Coogler responding to the incident, saying that he never had this experience at other Bank of America locations.

After an investigation, police found that the incident was a mistake and the teller was at fault. Once everyone was released, Coogler asked for badge numbers of the responding officers.

In a TMZ update, Coogler spoke about the incident. “This situation should never have happened. However, Bank of America worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on.”

A Bank of America spokesperson gave a statement to Variety: “We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler.”

Coogler is currently filming Black Panther sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever which is set for release on November 11th.

This story was updated on Thursday, March 10th.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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