Mayor Thomas: JPMorgan Chase employee called police on him for ‘banking while black’

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MOUNT VERNON -

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas says he was treated unfairly because he was "banking while black."

"We've seen a situation happen where the police are called on people of color, particularly black people, for no apparent reason,” says Thomas.

At a news conference in Manhattan Monday, Thomas told reporters that a JPMorgan Chase employee called the police on him after he attempted to deposit a six-figure check a week ago.

"And one person said he has a gun, and it was kind of like, ‘What? What?’ Because when we came we announced who we were. We made it clear that the mayor travels with security for security purposes,” says Thomas.

He says the security guard was a Mount Vernon police detective, and that race played a role.

"No one should go to the bank and be told the cops are coming because you are here,” said Thomas.

A Chase spokesperson told News 12 the incident is tied to a long-running dispute between the mayor and the city comptroller, and that Chase staff acted appropriately.

The mayor mentioned the feud at City Hall during the news conference, stating his actions were in the best interest of the city.

"We also want to know what happened to the millions of dollars that were conducted and spent at Memorial Field for the field to only be shut due to toxic and illegal dumping,” said Thomas.

Mayor Thomas filed a racial profiling complaint with the Office of Currency Comptroller Monday.

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