LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles-based musician and Citibank customer Baby Storme brought everything she thought she needed to an East Hollywood branch to cash a check from her father on Tuesday.
But she said she was refused service - and she believes she was racially profiled.
The alternative musician said her Dad mailed a $30,000 check to cover her rent for a year. But when she arrived at the bank on Sunset Boulevard to deposit it, an employee told her the check couldn’t be accepted.
"She just assumed that it was fraudulent, so she just confiscated the check, and then once she saw that I was recording her, they locked me in the Citibank and pulled down all the gates so that I couldn’t leave with the recording," said Baby Storme.
The alternative musician posted videos of the confrontation to social media, which quickly went viral.
The videos show her being asked to delete the recordings, which she refused to do.
"It’s obviously a race thing because this is something that happens to people a lot - people who look like me - and I just feel like it’s not fair. …I think people see me with my skin color and my piercings and stuff, and they may just assume that me or people who look like me are fraudulent or criminals, and we’re not," she said.
Citibank released the following statement regarding the incident:
"We have spoken with (Baby Storme) and are working closely with her to resolve the issue in question. We are taking this matter very seriously and have launched a thorough investigation into what transpired on Tuesday."
Eventually, Baby Storme said the employees returned her check and let her out of the branch without an explanation or an apology. She said nothing can erase the anxiety and fear she felt in those moments.
"When people come out and say hey, I was discriminated against, this happened to me - it’s not just a story - it’s real life. This is truth…this is the reality for a lot of people who look like me."
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