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.
Wow, look, black lesbians exist and they experience a unique reality of homophobia and racism. AKA fuck racism, fuck racism apologists, and fuck erasure.
I’m glad she won, and I can’t say if she would have been able to if she didn’t already have her own resources as an attorney.Correction: She didn’t win! I got the names and abbreviations confused.
This racism is the norm, never forget that.
No, she didn’t win. She lost. In fact, the judge sentenced her to pay 50,000 dollars to BofA for infringing upon THEIR “right to free speech” (their freedom to wrongfully report her to the police). It’s all kinds of fucked up. She’s hoping to appeal, perhaps.
It’s hard to imagine anyone winning against BofA, let along a Black lesbian woman in a racist, homophobic country like ours.
Thanks for the correction! I got the names and abbreviations mixed. And now, re-reading it… Just… Even worse. Even. Worse.
BofA made an error here. It wasn’t free speech. They called the wrong person, refused to call the right person, called the police.
And she can’t sue the police for wrongful arrest, because they were responding to a legitimate concern.
What the hell with the judge, though? Why isn’t this one on change.org? She needs a petition or something to reverse that idiotic judgement.
Filing a false police report (and it was false because it was based on a false premise, that Kathleen Wilkinson on the check said the check was stolen, when in fact they never spoke to the Wilkinson on the check) is not free speech. They could suggest they followed procedure, but they didn’t because they didn’t look up the proper account, that’s the first step of any bank procedure, talking to the right account holder. (Doesn’t seem like they even talked to the other Kathleen Wilkinson at all, just some family member[s] which further compounds the procedural error.) This wasn’t a good faith error. This was the BofA people screwing up at least FOUR ways and freedom of speech doesn’t cover fuck-ups. Nope.
here’s a screen cap of a correspondence between a woman named telisha cobb and senator campfield, who is at the forefront of tennessee’s “don’t say gay” bill (actually called the classroom protection act), a bill which would require teachers, counselors, etc. to inform parents if their children are gay, or even if they ~appear~ to be gay. (here is some more information about it.) she posted it on her facebook (easier to read!) and is urging others to share it so the word can get out about what an unbelievable asshole this dude is (if it wasn’t already obvious enough).
in case you’re having trouble reading the screen cap, it says:
I am writing to you as a mother, active citizen and born & raised Tennessean. You are an embarrassment to our great state. Folks all over the country and here in Tennessee are looking at the bills that you are proposing in shock. They are the most ignorant and morally lacking legislation that could be proposed this year. It is clear that you are targeting homosexuals and low income families with hogwash legislation. You need to search your heart, your values and your Christianity to find a better way to represent us as a whole. We will do everything in our power to make sure you are not here in 2014. There are numerous grass root parties that are making their voices heard.
his super classy response to her email reads:
You seem to have some serious, deep anger issues. Have you ever thought about therapy? I hear they are doing some wonderful things with medication these days.
Yours in service,
Sen. Stacey Campfield
like come on. you’ve gotta be kidding me here.
so! if you wouldn’t mind reblogging this and spreading the word, that would be great! telisha wants others to spread this around as much as they possibly can. this is a totally inappropriate and unprofessional way of addressing criticism and more people need to know about this dude and what he’s trying to pull.