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Banking While Black: Cops Called On Elderly Woman For Trying To Cash A Check

Barbara Carroll, a 78-year-old former probation officer and assistant bank manager with a PhD, only wanted to cash a $140 check last November. Her errand quickly became a nightmare when Wells Fargo employees at a Fort Lauderdale location refused her service, held her photo ID hostage and called the police, the Miami New Times reported.

Carroll spent two-and-a-half hours being treated like a criminal after she gave her driver’s license and passport to a bank teller, who was white, on Nov. 28. She was told there was a problem and asked to wait before a manager harassed her. The manager, who was also white, refused to give back her ID and called police. The employees also asked her what she did to get the money, acting like she was a suspicious person and guilty of forgery despite the man who wrote the check confirming its authenticity.

The woman was so upset that she also dialed 911 before two officers arrived at the bank. The cops checked her ID and declared it was valid. Carroll finally got her cash after the horrible mistreatment that left her feeling humiliated and angry. The incident was a clear example of racial discrimination, she said.

“Things that we — and we being Black people — things that we feel are sometimes brushed over, like, ‘Oh, she was just doing her job,’” Carroll said, adding that employees didn’t apologize for the misconduct. “It’s a difference, and you can sense the difference.”

Carroll and her attorney were hoping their petition will help to change things.

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