Ryan Coogler was detained and put in handcuffs after going to Bank of America to make a transaction.
The 35-year-old director is best known for directing and co-writing Black Panther and numerous critically acclaimed films.
Coogler was wearing a hat, sunglasses, and a COVID-19 face mask when he approached the counter and handed the bank teller a withdrawal slip with a note written on the back that read, “I would like to withdraw $12,000 cash from my checking account. Please do the money count somewhere else. I’d like to be discreet.”
Footage emerges from Coogler’s arrest
Footage from the incident, which took place in January, shows the filmmaker waiting at the bank counter when police approach him.
Coogler is visibly stunned when a police officer draws his weapon seemingly without provocation.
He complies with the responding officer’s demands as he is handcuffed in the bank.
The 35-year-old working on the Black Panther sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, had his work badge on him at the time of his arrest, which he showed to the police.
In the footage, he asked the police officers to remove his glasses because he suffered a panic attack.
Ryan explained to the police that he gave the teller a note because he did not feel safe withdrawing a large amount of cash without discretion.
He also asked for the responding officers’ names after removing the handcuffs. Two of Coogler’s colleagues, who were waiting for him outside the bank in a car, were also detained.
The director said he asked the bank teller if “it was okay” after handing the note; he also added that he put his card pin and showed the staffer his identification.
The Black Panther director said he had never had an issue in the past when passing a note to withdraw large amounts discreetly.
Ryan Coogler releases a statement following his arrest
Coogler released a statement after news broke about his detainment in January.
“This situation should never have happened,” he said to Variety, adding: “However, Bank of America worked with me and addressed it to my satisfaction, and we have moved on.”
A Bank of America spokesperson told the publication, “We deeply regret that this incident occurred. It never should have happened, and we have apologized to Mr. Coogler.”