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Hampton & Hampton LLP

“BANKING WHILE BLACK” - HAMPTON AND HAMPTON LLP, A CHICAGO AND ATLANTA BASED LAW FIRM, FILE MULTI-DEFENDANT CIVIL LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CITY OF HIGHLAND PARK, HIGHLAND PARK POLICE OFFICERS, FIFTH-THIRD BANK AND MCGRATH KIA OF HIGHLAND PARK ALLEGING RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, FALSE ARREST, AND VIOLATIONS OF THE ILLINOIS’ HATE CRIME STATUTE.

Police falsely accused Sade Crockett, an African-American Chicago Woman of attempting to purchase a car with a fake $30,000 check at a Highland Park Car Dealership.

Banking while Black - Sade Crocket

CHICAGO, IL, December 5, 2023

Sade Crockett, 36, from Chicago, IL, was falsely arrested earlier this year, following a call to police for fraud by McGrath Kia located at 250 Skokie Valley Road in Highland Park, Illinois. During the arrest, which occurred, on March 10, 2023, Police said Sade Crockett tried purchasing a vehicle, over $30,000, from the Highland Park McGrath Kia dealership with a fake cashier’s check.

The cashier’s check, which was issued by Fifth Third Bank to Crockett, was intended to be a gift from her Uncle as a birthday present, was in fact legitimate. After the arrest, Crockett was charged with felony forgery in Lake County Circuit Court Case No. 23CF482, and was facing upwards of ten years imprisonment. All charges against Sade Crockett were dismissed on or about July 18, 2023, when the Lake County’s State’s Attorney’s Office determined that no crime had been committed.

Sade Crockett’s story began on March 10, 2023, when Highland Park police officers, received a call for a fraud report from the McGrath Kia dealership, located in Highland Park, IL, a predominantly white suburb, north of Chicago. The report stated that employees of the McGrath Kia dealership contacted Fifth-Third Bank to verify the legitimacy of Sade Crockett’s cashier’s check, and the bank informed staff that the check, which was made out for $30,710, was fraudulent.

Officers arrested Crockett on March 10, 2023, and the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office approved the forgery charges. A lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern District seeking compensatory and punitive damages in connection with Sade Crockett’s unlawful arrest.

This case represents a disturbing pattern of racial discrimination and what can happen when "Banking While Black”. “There is no data on how frequently the police are called on customers, who are making legitimate everyday transactions; however, racial profiling in our community needs to stop. Our client has suffered extreme emotional distress from the incident, and has been unable to find gainful employment, due to media headlines with both her name and image, still visible on the internet today. Sade Crockett, needs justice and she deserves to be treated with both dignity and respect.”.

Media Contact

Sylvia Hampton: [email protected]
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