Sen. Lena Taylor responds to Wells Fargo police report

Posted at 4:58 PM, May 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-05 00:50:21-04

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- State Sen. Lena Taylor is responding to police reports saying she used a racial slur against a Milwaukee bank teller that resulted in her being cited for disorderly conduct.

Taylor sent TODAY'S TMJ4 the following statement on the incident at 4:45 p.m. Friday:

“I strongly object to the nature and characterization of my visit to a Wells Fargo Bank branch. The police report and subsequent coverage, in certain media outlets, continues a consistent pattern of unfair treatment and a misrepresentation of the facts when dealing with African-Americans, especially those who vigorously advocate for themselves and their community.” 

According to police reports released Friday, Taylor was trying to see if there was enough money in an account to cash an $825 check at the Wells Fargo bank at 735 W. Wisconsin last month. 

After the teller asked Taylor to sign the back of the check first because she was not a customer at the bank, Taylor refused to do so, according to the police report. Multiple witnesses, including a security guard, said they heard Taylor, who is black, call the male teller, who is also black, a "good house (N-word)."

The reports say Taylor told police she called the teller a "house negro."

A police officer who happened to be at the bank on a different call, says he observed Taylor yelling at the bank manager and refusing to lower her voice and had to step between the two to keep them apart. 

The newly released reports shed new details on the incident that led the Milwaukee city attorney to proceed with prosecuting Taylor for disorderly conduct.

Police say Taylor's actions were captured on various body and security cams, but those have not been released.

According to the police report, Taylor denies acting aggressively at the bank and asked the officer why she was issued a citation when students at Franklin High School were not cited for using derogatory language.  

Taylor has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for a pretrial appearance on Aug. 1.