Sharon Henry, a Black lesbian district attorney of San Mateo, walked into a Bank of America and attempted to deposit a check for $27,000 from her domestic partner’s account into hers and withdraw $1,000. The teller looked up a listing for the partner’s name—Kathleen Wilkinson—but it was a different Kathleen Wilkinson than Henry’s partner, and the listing lacked the notation that Sharon Henry was allowed to make the transaction.
The teller called Wilkinson’s family, who stated they didn’t know Henry and the teller called the police. The police, failing to follow protocol, did not call the phone number on the check, and refused to let Henry make the call, put her under arrest. They locked her up and took away her phone and diabetes medication.
Finally, Henry was released two hours later after her partner arrived at the bank wondering where she had gone.
Henry, a prosecutor, has decided to sue Bank of America for negligence, stating that the bank acted the way it did largely because she was African American. The judge has ruled in BofA’s favor, stating that Henry’s suit is an “unjustified” attempt to violate Bank of America’s free speech. Not only that, but the judge ordered Henry to pay BofA’s $50,000 attorney fees.
Sharon Henry is considering an appeal.