LIVONIA, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) — A stop at a Livonia TCF bank prompted a racial discrimination lawsuit after a man claims he came in to make a deposit, but the transaction was denied and the police were called.
Attorney Deborah Gordon says her client, Sauntore Thomas walked into TCF Bank to cash three settlement checks for a race discrimination lawsuit.
Gordon says Thomas received the undisclosed settlement from his former employer, but when he went to the Livonia branch Jan. 21 to deposit the funds he was accused of check fraud and questioned by the police.
“To sum up what happened the checks were 100 percent valid. I cannot believe the bank did not know that or could not confirm that. They’re a bank,” said Gordon.
Thomas didn’t know he was walking into another legal dispute.
Gordon said in her my opinion there was “something else going on and what was going on is that my client was banking while black.”
She also wants to know why the bank called the police.
“They thought he was engaged in fraud. That was the assumption that was reached. Ok, so let’s ask ourselves why? Why was that the assumption or the conclusion,” said Gordon, who also told CW50 Detroit’s Cryss Walker a bank manager asked Thomas how he got the money.
The manager then told him the checks needed to be called in and soon after law enforcement arrived.
TCF Bank Communication Officer Tom Wennerberg told CW50 all three checks were “significant amounts and needed further verification.”
The bank is also releasing an apology, stating that local police should have never been involved and extra precautions are taken for large deposits.
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