Black doctor slaps Chase bank with discrimination lawsuit, but critics say they did nothing wrong

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A black female doctor is suing a JPMorgan Chase branch in Houston for the alleged crime of having racially discriminated against her.

Dr. Malika Mitchell-Stewart says that shortly after she finished her residency in December, she visited the branch to open an account and deposit her first check — worth $16,000 — from her new job at Valley Oaks Medical Group.

However, the bank’s staff members allegedly “treated like her a criminal” by asking her detailed questions about her age, her job and her contacts, and allegedly then accusing her of trying to cash a fake check.

“Dr. Mitchell-Stewart showed proof of identification. She showed proof that she was a doctor by presenting a business card. She even called employees from her medical group to confirm who she was,” her attorney, Justin Moore, complained to local station KTRK.

Mitchell-Stewart is especially upset because the tough questions ruined her so-called “special moment.”

“They took my special moment away. I felt like a criminal. I’ve never done anything wrong,” she told the station.

Listen:

“They didn’t respect anything. I shouldn’t have even been asked so many questions about my age, what I did for a living, just to open an account at Chase. In order to get Texas medical license or a medical license at all, you have to have a clean record. You have to go to school for so many years, and they just didn’t care. They didn’t respect that. They didn’t respect my credentials,” she added.

As for the actual suit, it appears to contain a great deal of racial rhetoric.

“What Dr. Mitchell-Stewart was reminded of on this day was that she is a black woman attempting to deposit $16,000 in a predominantly white affluent suburb – Sugarland, Texas in Ft. Bend County,” it reportedly reads.

“Solely because of her race, Dr. Mitchell-Stewart was discriminated against by members of Chase’s banking staff and denied services provided to non-African American customers of Chase.”

But not everybody is buying this narrative. Some critics say it’s bullschiff.

Case in point:

Do they have a point? Well, it is true that all bank transactions in the United States that total $10,000 or higher require that a currency transaction report (CTR) be filed by the bank.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) regulations state that the bank must collected detailed identification information, including but not limited to “the name and address of the individual presenting a transaction,” in addition to “the identity, account number, and Social Security or taxpayer identification number, if any, of any person or entity on whose behalf such a transaction is conducted.”

Chase Bank officials have for their part said that they’re investigating the incident.

“We take this matter very seriously, and are investigating the situation. We have reached out to Dr. Mitchell-Stewart to better understand what happened and apologize for her experience,” they said in a statement to KTRK.

Mitchell-Stewart for her part continues to stick to her story.

“For a black female physician to be treated this way by Chase is a devastating reminder that no matter how hard we try and how far we climb, major corporations in this country still view us as if we are nothing,” her attorney said.

“Courageously, Dr. Mitchell-Stewart decided to not let Chase treat her like a criminal because she is black, and is seeking to fight back … We all should be inspired by her resolve and willingness to fight back.”

Her critics meanwhile have some advice for her: Get over it and be grateful to be making so much more money than the average American.

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Vivek Saxena

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