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Black Panther director mistaken for bank robber



Black Panther director, Ryan Coogler, pictured in 2019, was mistakenly arrested briefly

The director of hit superhero film Black Panther, Ryan Coogler, was mistaken for a bank robber as he tried to take money out of his own account in the US, a police report has revealed.

Coogler was briefly arrested after trying to withdraw $12,000 (£9,100) from the Atlanta bank in January.

The teller had reportedly told her boss she suspected an attempted robbery after misinterpreting the situation with the Black Panther director.

Mr Coogler told TMZ the “situation should never have happened”.


However, the 35-year-old said Bank of America had since “worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on”.

According to the police report, which was obtained by the entertainment website, Mr Coogler – reportedly wearing a covid face mask, as well as sunglasses and a hat – handed the teller a withdrawal slip with a note saying he wanted $12,000 from his checking account.

The note also asked for the money to be counted somewhere else, ending “I’d like to be discreet”. He also showed identification. The New York Times reported that he told police he was paying for a medical assistant who worked for his family and sought discretion over safety concerns due to the cash amount he requested.

The teller, who is black, as is Mr Coogler, was pregnant and worried about her safety at the time, according to the newspaper.

The transaction triggered an automatic notification as it was over $10,000, at which point the teller told her boss she suspected a robbery, and the police were called.


The director, who has been working on the sequel to 2018’s Black Panther, was briefly handcuffed and detained before proving his identity and being released.

A Bank of America spokesperson told US magazine Variety: “We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened and we have apologised to Mr Coogler.”

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