Banking While Black: Chase Calls Cops on Mayor Richard Thomas While Professionally and Peacefully Inquiring About His City’s Signature Account
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas
NATIONWIDE — Recently, Mayor Richard Thomas discussed how staff at JP Morgan & Chase summoned the police on him, his staff member, and a Mount Vernon Police detective as the Mayor sought to deposit a six-figure check and get access to the City’s online banking records.
A Chase employee called the police on Wednesday, April 25, after Mayor Thomas was invited into a conference room and after Mayor Thomas had introduced the two people with him, including the police detective.
The response by the White Plains Police Department was resolved amicably after one of the responding officers recognized the Mount Vernon Police detective.
Mayor Thomas believes that race certainly played a role in the Chase employees calling the police. The two staffers who accompanied Mayor Thomas are Black and Hispanic.
“As a Mayor and as a young, well-educated Black man living during this turbulent time in society where police are being called on Black people for going about everyday life, this is unacceptable,” Mayor Thomas wrote in a letter to Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. “We’ve seen this happen to the two Black men at a Starbucks in Philadelphia. We’ve also seen this happen to Oregon Rep. Janelle Bynum while she was campaigning. Now it happened to me.”
On Monday, Mayor Thomas will visit the Office of Currency Comptroller to file a racial profiling/redlining complaint.
Mayor Thomas was at Chase’s offices at 925 Westchester Avenue in White Plains to invoke existing rights as an authorized account signatory and enforce a recent court order giving him full access to all the City’s financial records.
Supreme Court Justice Susan Cacace recently ordered Mount Vernon Comptroller Deborah Reynolds to stop blocking Mayor Thomas’ access to the critical financial records that allow him to determine how much money the City truly has.