Bank calls cops on black man for trying to cash check he was awarded in a racial discrimination lawsuit

After suing his employer for racial discrimination, Sauntore Thomas settled out of court. But when he tried to cash his settlement check at a bank in Livonia, Michigan, bank employees called the cops -- who then initiated a fraud investigation. Now Thomas is suing the bank, according to the Detroit Free Press.


According to Thomas, TCF Bank in Livonia "mistreated and humiliated" when they called the police on him. According to police, the bank's system flagged the check as fraudulent -- a claim that Thomas disputes, saying that the check cleared 12 hours later after he brought it to another bank that same day.

"I didn't deserve treatment like that when I knew that the check was not fraudulent," Thomas said. "I'm a United States veteran. I have an honorable discharge from the Air Force. They discriminated against me because I'm black. None of this would have happened if I were white."

Thomas's lawyer, Deborah Gordon told the Detroit Free Press that "assumptions were made the minute he walked in based on his race."

"It's unbelievable that this guy got done with a race discrimination case and he’s not allowed to deposit the check based on his case? It's absolutely outrageous," Gordon said, adding that the bank could have avoided all this is they "just called the bank that issued the check" because it "would have all been verified immediately."

Thomas says he feels "very intimidated because I knew that if I would have gotten loud, they would have had me on the ground for disturbance of the peace."

"But I didn't get loud," he continued. "I didn't get confrontation. I did nothing. I had a very long journey and I feel like I have to go through the same thing again. It's frustrating, but I do know God is in control. I will be vindicated because I didn't do anything wrong."