TCF Bank is feeling the anger of the public after they called the cops on a man who was simply trying to cash a settlement check. Even after an apology, folks are still calling for a boycott of the institution.
On Tuesday, Sauntore Thomas of Detroit was already weary from racially charged litigation, considering he sued his former employer, Enterprise Leasing Company for racial discrimination. He won a confidential settlement that week and went to TCF Bank expecting to cash the check.
However, the assistant manager at the bank didn’t believe the check belonged to him. She refused to cash the check and she even called the police on him believing the check was fraudulent, according to Thomas’ lawsuit. At one point, Thomas called his lawyer, Deborah Gordon, to confirm he settled a federal lawsuit and received a cash settlement. However, the bank still didn’t believe Thomas, according to his lawsuit. He eventually closed his account at TCF that same day and within an hour, he deposited the check into a newly opened account with Chase bank. The funds cleared within 12 hours. Thomas is now suing TCF Bank for racial discrimination.
At first, TCF Bank defended its actions, according to Detroit Free Press, calling Thomas’ behavior “unusual.” A bank spokesperson, Tom Wennerberg, denied any discriminatory behavior on the bank’s part. “We were looking at the behavior, the asks that he was making,” he said. The bank even released a statement on Thursday saying they “abhor racism” and they handled Thomas’ transaction “like any other transactions involving requests for large amounts of cash.”
After public backlash, TCF bank decided to release a followup apology that same day. The company tweeted out, “We apologize for the experience Mr. Thomas had at our banking center. Local police should not have been involved.” The bank still maintains that they carried out the proper procedure, however. “We take extra precautions involving large deposits and requests for cash,” they continued in their tweet. “And in this case, we were unable to validate the checks presented by Mr. Thomas and regret we could not meet his needs.”
Folks still weren’t buying their apology, however. One Twitter user tweeted, “I worked as an assistant manager at a bank. Put a hold on the checks. It’s simple. This makes no sense what @TCFBank did. This is pure racism, plain and simple. BOYCOTT TCF Bank now!! I hope you have to pay a ton to this man for discriminating against him.”
You can check out more of the outrage and calls for boycotting in the tweets below.