WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita Police Department said officers followed department policy when a reported forged check was being deposited by a family at a local bank.
WPD officers were called to Emprise Bank on September 6 regarding a reported forgery in progress. According to authorities, the information was relayed to them that a man, identified as Sattar Ali, approached a bank employee with a “fake” $151,000 check.
Upon receiving the call, one Kansas Highway Patrol officer, one Sedgwick County Sheriff’s officer and two Wichita police officers responded to the call. During the 911 call, an employee of the bank said the check was altered and lacking watermarks. The employee also said the check had a routing number from Michigan but the bank on the check was in Cleveland, causing the bank to be unable to verify the legitimacy of the check.
Ali and his family were taken to the WPD Investigations Division. Soon after, authorities said they were able to verify the check and WPD officials took the family back to their vehicle.
Chief Gordon Ramsay said the officers’ actions were documented through written reports, body camera video, bank surveillance and the 911 call.
“Even though WPD officers followed policy, we feel bad for what happened in the course of the investigation,” said Chief Gordon Ramsay. “When unfortunate situations such as this one arise, it creates an opportunity for dialogue between the police and the community. That dialogue can help us improve.”
Ramsay said he has reached out to the family, and police officials apologized to the family for the misunderstanding.
Muslim Advocates released the following statement on behalf of Sattar Ali and family in response to the police statement regarding the arrest:
Several days ago, the basic errand of depositing a check at the bank was turned into a humiliating and terrifying experience for the Ali family. Sattar Ali was handcuffed, and he, his wife, and teenage daughter were all arrested and treated like criminals even though none of them did anything wrong.
The Ali family sincerely appreciates the words of apology and regret they have received from Emprise Bank and local law enforcement officials. They have not, however, been provided with any satisfactory explanation for why this incident occurred in the first place and what steps have been taken to ensure that it does not happen again.
The Ali family is currently considering all legal options as they continue to grapple with how such an ordinary day could turn into such a nightmare.”