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U.S. Bank ‘Deeply Sorry’ for Calling Cops, Handcuffing Black Customer

Plus Chauvin changes mind, hospitals plead with the unvaxxed, and Marlon James keeps winning in today's Flyover.

Tony Webster (Creative Commons License)

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily 1 p.m.(ish) digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

U.S. Bank: Sorry About the Racism

“What Mr. Morrow experienced is not the experience that any customer should have,” wrote U.S. Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Andy Cecere in an open apology letter on Friday. Sounds like this Joe Morrow fellow had an unpleasant banking experience. We’ve all been there, right? Maybe he was slapped with incorrect overdraft fees? Oh, no, wait—Morrow, who is Black, was accused (wrongly) of trying to cash a fraudulent check at U.S. Bank’s Columbia Heights branch, and a manager called the cops, who handcuffed the customer while the matter was investigated. The bank’s internal investigation initially found there was “nothing to indicate” Morrow’s race was a factor in his treatment, but police body cam footage revealed that the manager didn’t begin to investigate the check’s validity until after Morrow was cuffed. Credit to Eric Rasmussen at KSTP for hammering away at this story: according to Morrow’s attorneys, U.S. Bank reached a confidential settlement with the mistreated customer after the station launched its investigation.

Chauvin Likely to Plead Guilty

Looks like Derek Chauvin plans to change his plea in a federal civil rights suit, according to a court notice published Monday. The former Minneapolis police officer was indicted on charges of abusing his position of power to violate the civil rights of George Floyd when he killed him in the street in May 2020. Along with his fellow defendants—J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao—Chauvin had pleaded not guilty to the charges in September, but he will be appearing in court Wednesday morning to enter the new plea. As the Strib’s Andy Mannix points out, this would be good news for the other officers, who had argued they couldn’t receive a fair trial alongside Chauvin, who was convicted of second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter in a Minnesota earlier this year.

Statewide Hospital Ad: We. Are. Overwhelmed.

Try not to get appendicitis or have a heart attack anytime soon—hospitals are otherwise occupied. Yesterday, nine hospital systems from across the state of Minnesota placed an ad in newspapers proclaiming: “Our emergency departments are overfilled, and we have patients in every bed in our hospitals.” As for what is to be done, the hospitals offer a familiar message: Get vaxxed. “We’d have a whole 200-bed hospital open if people were vaccinated,” Allina Health CEO Penny Wheeler told MPR News. (And if this is what the bosses have to say, just imagine what the front line health care workers are going through.) 

Marlon James Is Always up to Something Cool

Man Booker Prize-winning author Marlon James always has something interesting coming down the pike. Last week it was announced that Get Millie Black, a show he’s executive producing and writing, has been ordered to series for HBO and UK’s Channel 4. The six-episode crime drama follows Millie-Jean Black, a former Scotland Yard detective who returns to Jamaica for work. “My mother was one of the first policewomen in Jamaica to make detective,” said James in an interview with Deadline of his inspiration for the titular character. “Storytelling has always struck me first and foremost as a mystery to be solved—which I’m sure I got from her.” Casting has yet to be announced, but there should be some gloriously plum rolls for trans, queer, Black actors. The show is set to start filming in the UK and Jamaica in 2022. When he’s not inking deals with premium cable networks, James can be found teaching at Macalester College as well as working on The Dark Star, his Afro-futurism trilogy that kicked off with Black Leopard Red Wolf in 2019. The next installment in that series comes out next year.