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Black Panther director Ryan Coogler has confirmed he was wrongly handcuffed by staff in a bank after being mistaken for a robber.
The incident took place in January this year, when Coogler, who is also known for his work directing Creed and as a producer on Judas and the Black Messiah, was in a Bank of America in Atlanta, Georgia.
The director had entered the bank to make a transaction while wearing sunglasses and a coronavirus face mask before handing the bank teller a withdrawal slip with a note written on the back.
The note, which has been cited by TMZ, reportedly 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 decision to relay his request with a note is understandable given Coogler's position as a well-known person and the amount of money he was withdrawing, but despite the fact he was not doing anything illegal, the withdrawal request triggered an alert for the bank teller, who then reportedly told her boss the director was attempting a robbery.
Police were called to the bank, according to a police report cited by TMZ, after which officers detained two people who were waiting for Coogler outside in an SUV and brought the director himself out in handcuffs.
The officers are said to have soon realised the situation to be a misunderstanding, though the police report indicates Coogler was intending to follow up on the incident as he asked for the badge numbers of all the responding officers.
The director confirmed the incident in a statement to Variety, saying the situation 'should never have happened'.
He continued: 'However, Bank of America worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on.'
A spokesperson for the Bank of America has said they 'deeply regret that this incident occurred', adding: 'It never should have happened and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler.'
Coogler has been in Atlanta filming Marvel's Black Panther sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is set to be released in November. Production on the film had to be halted when actor Letitia Wright sustained 'a critical shoulder fracture and a concussion with severe side effects' in a stunt, but she returned to the set in January to continue work on the film, in which she plays Shuri.
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