January 24, 2020

A Bank Wouldnt Take His Bias Settlement Money. So Hes Suing
Last week, Sauntore Thomas, a black man from Detroit, had a victory over profiling when he settled a race discrimination case against his former employer.But as he learned this week, it was too soon to celebrate.When he tried Tuesday to deposit the money at his TCF Bank, a new lawsuit says, he met resistance that escalated with a call to the police and what amounted to a claim of racial discrimination against the bank. The lawsuit called it "banking while black."After the assistant branch manager called the police, Thomas, 44, was questioned by two Livonia Police Department officers in the lobby for about an hour, Thomas and his lawyer, Deborah Gordon, said in interviews Thursday. He was also accused of fraud, even after Gordon texted screenshots of documents showing that he had just won the funds from the settlement, Gordon said."I have had this with black clients before," Gordon said. "There can be a lot of questions when they suddenly have money."Lt. Charles Lister, the investigative bureau commander at the police department, said that Thomas was not handcuffed or patted down, that the two officers were in the bank with him for 50 minutes and that two others briefly waited outside."He was never told he could not leave by our officers," Lister said.Thomas, whose story first appeared in The Detroit Free Press, had collected the checks from the Jan. 13 federal settlement with his former employer, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Circuit Court for the county of Wayne.On Jan. 21, Thomas went to the TCF branch in Livonia, Michigan, where he has had a checking account since 2018, it says. He asked to open a savings account, obtain a new debit card, deposit the money and get cash back, the lawsuit says.But he did not get far. The lawsuit says he was told by the assistant branch manager that the system was malfunctioning, that the checks had to be "verified" and "called in," and that he needed to answer a question: "How did you get this money?" The lawsuit says that the assistant branch manager went into a back room and called the Livonia Police Department.In an interview Thursday, Thomas said that two police officers arrived, while two were posted outside the bank. Thomas said one of the officers inside the bank told him, "'Can you come over here and speak with us?' And I said, 'Who, me?'"He said he was told to take his hands out of his pockets, which he did, and go to a back room, which he refused to do."He thought I was a threat," Thomas said. "I was just trying to do some banking."TCF did not immediately reply to an email or phone calls seeking comment.The Free Press quoted a bank spokesman, Tom Wennerberg, as saying that race was not a factor and that the checks showed a watermark that read "void" when scanned by the bank. Wennerberg said the three checks were for $59,000, $27,000 and $13,000. Gordon said she was unable to disclose the amount of the checks.After Thomas was questioned by the officers and they spoke to Gordon, he left without depositing the checks, the suit continues. Thomas' "race was a factor" in the bank's decision to "treat him less favorably than other individuals," it says.The lawsuit, which alleges race discrimination and names TCF Financial Corp. as the defendant, is seeking a jury trial.Wennerberg said in an interview Thursday that Thomas had little previous activity on his account and the assistant branch manager, who is black, believed the checks could be fraudulent because they "visually" did not match previous checks."We take extra precautions involving large deposits and requests for cash, and in this case, we were unable to validate the checks presented by Mr. Thomas and regret we could not meet his needs," Wennerberg said."We really want to apologize for the experience," he said. "Local police should not have been involved."Before he left the bank that day, Thomas closed his TCF account; he then went to another bank, where he opened a new account and deposited the checks, he said. They cleared the next morning and Thomas was able to buy a used car that he had his eye on for $6,000, he said.But TCF bank had filed a police report against Thomas, alleging check fraud, according to the lawsuit. On Jan. 22, a Livonia detective asked Gordon in an email for a contact at Thomas' former employer, Enterprise, the rental car company, so that the officer could ask about the settlement checks and "confirm that they are not fraudulent," the email said.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Lil Nas X Parties at His 'Montero' Album Release Party | TMZ
September 18, 2021
ETicReANpyA
Trinidad James Says Nicki Minaj Deserves Respect Despite COVID Vaccine Claims | TMZ
September 18, 2021
RUgVmXkJCkk
Jamie Foxx Gets Emotional Over Death of Michael K. Williams | TMZ
September 18, 2021
Uvxa38IHhRk
2021 Emmy Awards Red Carpet Tour | Live from E!
September 18, 2021
3GtCv8gZxYQ
Gabby Petito's Family Believes Brian Laundrie is "Hiding"
September 18, 2021
ZgurDd0uWrA
Kim Kardashian's Must-See CVS Outing Look
September 18, 2021
XO9MIRQZ4BY
Who are the 16 EGOT Winners!? | Page Six Celebrity News
September 18, 2021
YqQFJxqO1_4
Drew Barrymore posts unedited pic with ‘bestie’ Cameron Diaz | Page Six Celebrity News
September 17, 2021
svh2-wFSF5o
Is this really NeNe Leakes?! | Page Six Celebrity News
September 17, 2021
BUY1ZuWba_8
Ewan McGregor Gives 'Obi-Wan' Update Backstage at 2021 Emmys
September 19, 2021
UyLQ_YFTnlQ
'Hacks' Star Jean Smart Describes 'Moving' Audience Response to her Lead Actress Emmy Win
September 19, 2021
Gv0wnY46jiU
'SNL' Boss Lorne Michaels Remembers Norm MacDonald Backstage at the 2021 Emmys
September 19, 2021
KNiajhUuPPY
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.