Yo, what is Minnesota on? Or, do they just love treating Black men like this.
In another episode of racial profiling in the gopher state, a Black man was put in handcuffs at a local bank for alleged fraud when he tried to cash a $900 check according to KSTP TV.
In a video that was recorded on a police officer’s bodycam, Joe Morrow, a 23-year-old Black man, was threatened to be arrested by police at a US Bank in Columbia Heights, Minnesota for fraud. Even though, he had an account with the bank and previously showed his identification.
I guess that didn’t matter.
From KSTP TV:
A bank manager told officers he suspected the check was a fake, but police body camera video shows he only called Morrow’s employer for verification after the 23-year-old Black man was removed from his office.
The check was, in fact, real.
U.S. Bank disputed Morrow’s allegations of racial profiling but quietly agreed to a confidential settlement two weeks after 5 INVESTIGATES started asking questions about the incident.
Lawyers and advocates say Morrow’s experience raises questions about implicit bias and is part of a national phenomenon that more Black Americans have been documenting in recent years with the social media hashtag “Banking while Black.”
“When I’m coming out of (the manager’s) office I was handcuffed… people were looking… like I’m a criminal or something,” Morrow said.
No, you are not a criminal Mr. Morrow.
US Bank even had to acknowledge the blatant racial profiling displayed by their employee and the local police who handcuffed Morrow.
But as more details have come out on the reasoning why Morrow was arrested, it becomes even more shocking, frustrating and mind-boggling to why he was handcuffed.
From KSTP TV:
Sgt. Justin Pletcher arrived first. His body camera recorded Morrow sitting in the bank manager’s office, leaning back, with his hands folded.
John Askwith, the bank manager who called police, is blurred and muted in the video, as required by state law because he did not consent to its release.
In the first minute of the video, Morrow can be heard asserting his innocence.
“I work there, bro. And I’m going to report you too, bro. This is racial,” Morrow said to Askwith.
The video does not appear to show Morrow raising his voice or using profanity, but his claim of racial profiling was immediately met with a warning.
“Joe, I need you to calm down, first of all, OK?” Pletcher said. “Don’t say anything stupid because you’re just going to get arrested for it.”
Minutes later, after a second officer arrived, police say the manager asked them to move Morrow to an adjacent office.
The video then shows officers handcuffing Morrow after he appeared to stand up quickly from his chair.
In the incident report, Pletcher wrote that Morrow “flexed at John (Askwith) in a threatening manner.”
“I didn’t threaten him. I got up, like, I’m mad,” Morrow said. “The guy told the officer, can you get him out of my office? He might take something on my desk… that’s when I got super mad. I’m going to touch something on your desk?”
Here’s the sad thing. KSTP interviewed an expert on bias cases who said “Banking while Black” is not unusual in the land of 10,000 lakes. So I ask the question again. Yo, what is up with Minnesota?