Ryan Coogler Was Handcuffed After Being Mistaken For A Bank Robber In Atlanta

"This situation should never have happened," the acclaimed filmmaker said, adding that he has worked with Bank of America and that "we have moved on."

Acclaimed director and screenwriter Ryan Coogler was handcuffed and taken out of a Bank of America branch in Atlanta in January after an employee inaccurately reported that he was trying to rob the bank, TMZ first reported Wednesday.

The “Creed” and “Black Panther” director had attempted to withdraw money from his account at a Bank of America location on Jan. 7 when authorities were called to the branch. Coogler had apparently handed the bank teller a filled-out withdrawal slip, with a handwritten note on the back asking the teller to be discreet when handing him his cash, according to a police incident report that HuffPost viewed on Wednesday.

The report also noted that the Bank of America employee had received a notification from Coogler’s account when attempting to withdraw the cash, which was reported as possibly exceeding $10,000.

Atlanta police said the bank teller notified their manager that Coogler was attempting to rob the bank, and authorities were contacted.

The police report did not clearly indicate what prompted the teller to make such a claim to their manager. The award-winning filmmaker had presented his license and Bank of America card during the transaction, police said.

Coogler was handcuffed and taken out of the bank center once authorities arrived at the scene. Police also detained two people who were waiting for him in an SUV outside the bank, the report says.

On Wednesday, Fox 5 Atlanta reporter Eric Perry tweeted police body camera footage of Coogler getting handcuffed.

The director can be heard in the video saying, “Whoa, whoa what’s going on?”

An officer standing behind Coogler appears to draw his gun before placing it back in his holster and handcuffing Coogler.

Police described the people in the SUV as a Black man and an Asian woman in the report, and described the teller who spoke to Coogler as a Black woman. Coogler himself is also Black.

Ryan Coogler at the 10th Annual African American Film Critics Association Awards on Feb. 6, 2019, in Los Angeles.
Ryan Coogler at the 10th Annual African American Film Critics Association Awards on Feb. 6, 2019, in Los Angeles.
Rich Fury via Getty Images

A spokesperson for Bank of America declined to comment on specific details from the incident report, but provided the following statement to HuffPost: “We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler.”

Coogler also addressed the incident in a statement sent to HuffPost.

“This situation should never have happened. However, Bank of America worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction and we have moved on,” he said.

Police said the event was “a mistake by Bank of America” and that Coogler was “never in the wrong.” The filmmaker asked for the names and badge numbers of all the officers involved at the scene, the report says.

Coogler began filming the sequel to “Black Panther,” his 2018 Marvel blockbuster, in Atlanta in June, Variety reported. The highly anticipated movie, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” is set to release in November. Chadwick Boseman, who played the title character in the earlier film, died of cancer in 2020 at the age of 43.

This story has been updated to include a description of police body camera footage of Coogler’s arrest.

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