Black Man Claims Financial institution Of America Refused To Money His Insurance coverage Verify
A black man in San Diego claims that a branch of Bank of America racially profiled him when he tried to cash an insurance check.
In January 2020, John Pittman III presented a $ 12,000 insurance check drawn to him in the Pacific Beach branch of Bank of America. reported KPBS. The bank manager then told him that she felt he was trying to steal money and that she had to call the police.
“I think this wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t black,” said Pittman, a San Diego attorney.
Major insurance company’s check, GEICO, was placed on a Bank of America account and Pittman offered three forms of personal identification: his driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate. He also showed the GEICO papers.
An assistant manager reached out to Pittman and said they could not cash the check because the check did not have its suffix (III). However, all of his ID cards and GEICO papers contained his suffix.
The American banking system has a history of unrestrained racism and discriminatory practices, particularly against African Americans.
A black man in Michigan last year sued a local bank after they refused to redeem a settlement he ironically won on a discrimination lawsuit. In Atlanta, a black woman Experienced a similar situation in a Wells Fargo branch.
The tendency of banks to call the police makes this type of discrimination doubly angry; a situation that has no definite outcome when blacks are the target.
In Pittman’s case, after refusing to speak to a GEICO representative, the assistant manager left and called the authorities at the suggestion of the GEICO employee, who overheard key parts of the interaction.
Bill Hallidin, a spokesman for the bank, told KPBS that the staff followed the protocol because of the missing suffix.
“This is industry practice and is based on best practices to protect against potential fraud,” he said.
For Pittman and others like him, the sometimes arbitrary use of banking practices is still dehumanizing. The threat of police intervention against the need to get financial affairs done often leaves victims with no real remedy.