‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler speaks out after being mistaken for bank robber, detained

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Ryan Coogler found himself in a tense situation when he was detained in January outside a Bank of America branch in Atlanta in a case of mistaken identity.

In police body-camera footage, the “Black Panther” director, 35, is perplexed as to what is happening after he presented a note to a bank teller, asking to withdraw a sum of $12,000 in cash “from my checking account” but with the caveat, “Please do the money count somewhere else. I’d like to be discreet.”

However, given the amount of Coogler’s withdrawal which exceeded $10,000, the bank teller said in a 911 dispatch call – released by TMZ – that she didn’t feel comfortable completing Coogler’s request despite the fact he inserted his debit card, correctly entered his PIN and provided proper photo identification in the form of his California driver’s license.

The teller says on the dispatch call that she ultimately alerted her manager to the situation of a suspected bank robbery, even though the dispatcher verifies on the call that Coogler’s name was “not verified” by the teller.

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Ryan Coogler found himself in a tense situation when he was detained in January outside an Atlanta Bank of America in a case of mistaken identity.

Ryan Coogler found himself in a tense situation when he was detained in January outside an Atlanta Bank of America in a case of mistaken identity.
(Getty Images)

After police were called to the bank, Coogler detailed in police body-camera footage that bank personnel had been keeping him abreast of the situation and that his withdrawal request was being taken care of – only to be approached by Atlanta police officers who he said: “pulled their Glocks from their holsters.”

Companions outside 

Meanwhile, two of Coogler’s companions – a man and a woman – were waiting outside the bank branch in a vehicle with its engine running and were also detained by police.

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They would provide police with a description of what Coogler was wearing, and the famed filmmaker was then placed in handcuffs outside the bank.

The police body-camera footage shows Coogler alerting one officer to “a badge on my right hip” that allegedly corroborated his stance that he was not robbing the bank and was simply a patron in the branch withdrawing cash to pay an employee.

Police ran Coogler’s name, verifying his identity and his Bank of America account before releasing him and his companions but not until he had been handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser.

Officer body-camera footage released by the outlet shows Coogler – who is donning a white face covering – asking an officer to remove his glasses while he is handcuffed and sitting in the back of the cruiser.

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Coogler has been filming the sequel to the superhero mega-flick, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” in Atlanta. The film is set for release in November.

‘Never should have happened’

A Bank of America spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News Digital: “We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler.”

Director Ryan Coogler was detained by Atlanta Police in a case of mistaken identity after a bank teller believed he was attempting to rob the branch.

Director Ryan Coogler was detained by Atlanta Police in a case of mistaken identity after a bank teller believed he was attempting to rob the branch.
(Associated Press)

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

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Reps for Coogler and the Atlanta police did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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