An entire Muslim family were arrested in Kansas after the father attempted to deposit a large cheque from the sale of the family house at a bank.
Sattar Ali, originally from Iraq, tried depositing a cheque of $151,000 (£114,000) into his account at Emprise Bank in Wichita after selling their property in Dearborn, Michigan.
He informed the bank that he wanted to deposit the cheque so that he could buy a new house.
Mr Ali told local news station KAKE: “I went to the bank to deposit the check and I took all of the documents with me to verify.”
But a few minutes after he presented the bank with the cheque, he was handcuffed.
He said: “I was talking to them for less than five minutes and I found the police behind me, handcuffed me, confiscated everything and took me outside.”
Mr Ali’s wife, Hadil, and their 15-year-old daughter, Hawra, who were waiting in the car outside the bank were also arrested, and were detained for three hours at the police station.
Police also ordered his 11-year-old son’s school to hold him because the family was in custody.
“No one told me why I was being arrested until we were being released,” Ali told The Sunflower. “They didn’t read me rights or anything.”
“We were devastated. Terrified. Crying the whole time,” Ali said. “We had no idea what the arrest was for.”
Ali told The Sunflower that he believes he and his family were racially profiled because the large cheque came from someone with a Muslim name and not someone named “James or Robert.”
“Let’s assume I made a mistake and gave them a bad cheque,” Ali said. “Why would they arrest my wife and daughter?”
In a statement, Wichita police said that they were called to the bank for an attempted forgery.
“Police officers on scene made attempts to verify the legitimacy of the cheque, and were unable to do so,” read the statement.
Mr Ali said they lived in Wichita for many years before moving to Dearborn. He now believes that he was racially profiled and criticised Wichita for their actions against him and his family.
The bank released a statement saying that it “can confirm that our team acted in accordance with our policies and procedures. If faced with the same circumstances today, we would expect our team to take the same actions”.
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