A troubling story out of Houston, TX, as JPMorgan Chase Bank has been accused of racial discrimination after a black Houston-area doctor says she was denied service based on the color of her skin.

“It was really an unfortunate situation. They took my special moment away,” she said. “I felt like a criminal. I’ve never done anything wrong. In order to get a Texas medical license… you have to have a clean record [and] go to school for so many years. They just didn’t care. They didn’t respect that. They didn’t respect my credentials or anything.”  - Dr. Mitchell-Stewart

Last December, Dr. Malika Mitchell-Stewart went to a Chase Bank branch in Sugar Land to open an account and deposit a bonus check for $16,000 that she had received from her new job.

According to the lawsuit, staff members at the bank concluded that her check was fake, accused her of fraud, and questioned her job status as a doctor. Mitchell-Stewart’s attorney says that she provided identification and had fellow workers confirm her employment. But the lawsuit alleges that wasn't enough for two employees who still denied depositing her check. Mitchell-Stewart is now suing JP Morgan Chase, and the two employees, Trupti Patel and Shae Wells, of violating the Civil Rights Act, which “forbids racial discrimination.”

Dr. Mitchell-Stewart asserts that she was told by Wells that she "did not feel comfortable allowing her to open a bank account at the First Colony branch with the check because Wells believed Dr. Mitchell-Stewart was attempting to commit fraud," according to the lawsuit.

Chase Bank said in a statement, “We take this matter very seriously, and are investigating the situation. We have reached out to Dr. Mitchell-Stewart to better understand what happened and apologize for her experience.”

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