Chase Bank bans Ja’Mal Green from accessing its properties

Ja’Mal Green, the 24-year-old activist who was protesting JPMorgan Chase Bank’s dismal lending record in Chicago’s black communities, has now been cast as a client and banned by the bank from any Chase property.

“Over the past few weeks, our customers and employees have expressed serious safety concerns due to your actions in our branches,” reads an unsigned letter from Chase’s Global Security department emailed Green to Green Thursday night. The letter threatens legal action if Green does not “stay away from all” of Chase’s properties. Chase alleges that the video shows “physical harassment of customers attempting to enter branches and ATMs,” what Green calls a “blatant lie.”

Chase declined to provide images or video time stamps of Green or other protesters harassing customers. Green typically broadcasts his protests live on Facebook. Thousands of viewers have seen each of them.

Green’s protests resulted in the temporary closure of three Chase branches earlier Thursday, and Chase temporarily closed three separate branches on Wednesday due to protests.

Green and a small group of protesters started to demonstrate outside of Chase branches last month, after a WBEZ and City Bureau survey revealed that the bank invested nearly 80% of its mortgage dollars in white Chicago communities and only 1.9% in the city’s black neighborhoods between 2012 and 2018. This was the biggest disparity racialism in mortgage lending from all the major financial institutions.

Green’s small protests often involved him in Chase branches, announcing aloud that the branch would be closing due to protests and encouraging customers to withdraw their money from Chase due to the bank’s lending history in the neighborhoods. black. “If your dollar gets into Chase, you are funding your own oppression,” Green said.

Chase branch employees typically responded by waiting for Green to exit, then locking the door and posting a sign saying the branch was temporarily closed due to an emergency. Last month, Green and other protesters hit branches in Lincoln Park, South Loop, Near West Side, Back of the Yards, Englewood, Ashburn, Beverly, Bronzeville, Woodlawn and Chatham . Chase temporarily closed a branch on Wednesday at 95th Street and Kedzie Avenue because Green was protesting at another branch 10 blocks away.

Lately, the protests of the branch have become more and more tense. As of Thursday afternoon, Green had barely opened the door to the 87th Street and Calumet Avenue branch when a security guard attempted to physically prevents him from entering, saying he had “heard from you before.” Green filed a police report against the guard, alleging a simple battery.

Earlier Thursday, Green and others used their cars to block drive-thru tracks to the Woodlawn Chase branch at 6650 S. Stony Island Avenue. At least four Chicago police cars responded – at one point police outnumbered protesters – and a police sergeant and Green heated up.

A spokesperson for Chase said: “Anytime there is a disruption inside a branch that could endanger the safety of our employees and customers, we engage law enforcement. local. “

Ja’Mal Green and others protesting Chase Bank’s lack of loans in Chicago’s black neighborhoods closed a dozen branches over the past month. On Thursday, Chase banned Green from accessing his properties, citing the safety of customers and employees. Linda Lutton / WBEZ News

Chase attempted to engage with Green, the 2019 mayoral candidate, by setting up video calls with senior executives, including Chase Home Lending CEO Mark O’Donovan.

“Over the past month, we have held a number of constructive calls and meetings with you to discuss our common commitments to the south and west parts of Chicago. We will continue to work with community leaders on ways to address long-standing racial disparities in these neighborhoods, ”Chase’s letter to Green reads.

Green has held firm to a demand that Chase pay $ 1 billion in repairs to Chicago’s black neighborhoods, saying it’s not enough for Chase to say the bank will do better without remedying the damage caused by a lack of loans.

WBEZ found that if Chase had loaned black communities what she loaned to predominantly white neighborhoods from 2012 to 2018, it would have meant an additional $ 829 million each year for Chicago’s black neighborhoods.

Green swears he will keep the protests going despite being ordered to stay off Chase’s property. “We’re going to be closing a lot, a lot more branches in this city,” Green told Facebook Live viewers Thursday night. It is organized Chase’s next demo for today.

Linda Lutton covers Chicago neighborhoods for WBEZ. Am here @lindalutton.

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