A former Miami Hurricanes football player and his fiancee sued Regions Bank and two police officers, claiming they were arrested and embarrassed inside a South Florida branch because of racial profiling.
Zuleyka Bremer and Sheven Marshall, who used to play with the Canes, said they were arrested and humiliated for all to see inside a Regions Bank in southwest Miami-Dade County while trying to open an account with an $8,000 check from Marshall’s tax refund.
Marshall, who started games at middle linebacker for the Canes during his playing days, told NBC Miami, he believes the bank’s actions and the arrest were racially motivated.
“Maybe I’m African-American, I’m not allowed to have that large amount of check and I believe it has something to do with racial profiling,” said Marshall.
The couple filed the lawsuit in Miami on Nov. 3.
Bremer and Marshall said they were handcuffed, placed in clear view of all customers coming into the bank for several hours while they were questioned by police, the lawsuit said. They were accused of trying to use a fraudulent check to open the account, the suit said.
“I have never experienced anything like that. I started crying why am I being detained? Why is he being detained?” Bremer said.
Marshall’s attorney, Ervin Gonzalez, said the situation was racially motivated.
“The bank took one look at him, saw a tall African-American male and said forged check, call the police and have him arrested,” Gonzalez said.
Bremer said she couldn’t even pick up her two kids who were left at day care and school, and they felt degraded and embarrassed as customers in the bank saw them handcuffed and questioned for several hours.
“The teller kept walking back and forth like ‘I caught one.’ You could see it in his face,” Bremer said.
A police report, written by one of the officers who first arrived, indicated the bank's employee took several steps to confirm the check to be a fake. However, an economic crimes detective took over and the couple says he found there was no fraud and that's when they were released.
Marshall said no apology came from Region’s and the very next day another bank gladly accepted their business. Marshall said it was a good check.
Miami-Dade County Police and Regions Bank wouldn’t comment on the allegations because of the litigation.