A man exonerated of murder after spending 23 years in prison was turned away twice while trying to deposit a nearly $170,000 compensation check at a Chicago bank.
Darryl Fulton had spent nearly a quarter century in jail after being wrongly convicted in the 1994 rape and murder of Antwinica Bridgeman when his conviction was vacated in November of last year after DNA evidence pointed to another suspect.
Fulton’s attorney Kathleen Zellner told the Chicago Tribune that her client was trying to deposit a check from the state of Illinois for nearly $169,876 – compensation for the time he spent in prison – when a Chase branch denied him.
Zellner claims a Chase Bank branch initially said she needed to endorse Fulton’s check because her firm’s name was under his.
When Fulton tried a second time, he was denied because the bank said he signed the check in the wrong place, Zellner said.
The attorney asserted that Chase refused to deposit the check ‘because he’s a black male’.
‘I’m just trying to deposit my check,’ Fulton told the Tribune. ‘I just wanted to be treated like anyone else.’
Chase released a statement saying the bank should have accepted Fulton’s check, but did not address the racism allegation.