Well, let’s take local lawyer Rodel Rodis at his word when he recalls a conversation with then-Supervisor Gavin Newsom, excerpted below. And if you want, read Rodel’s whole woe-is-me tale of getting arrested by the SFPD for trying to pass a “counterfeit” $100 bill at a Walgreens. (Turned out that the lawyer’s money was little old school, but 100% genuine.)
Does this $100 bill necessarily look counterfeit to you? It shouldn’t. It’s just a little dated, that’s all – there’s no need to call the cops.
Anyway, as the litigation over this 2003 detention (non-arrest? arrest?) continues to infinity and beyond, here’s a new part of the story. When Mr. Rodis started going around saying how this bad treatment from Walgreens and the SFPD wouldn’t have been inflicted upon lesser-of -color notables such as Gavin Newsom or Tony Hall, he got a response:
“Newsom then related an incident that occurred when he was still in the private sector when he brought the daily earnings of his restaurant (Balboa Café) to the bank to deposit. He said the teller began counting the money and applied a counterfeit detector pen to a $100 bill which she found suspicious. The result confirmed that it was fake– unlike in my case where the pen applied by both the Walgreens cashier and manager showed that my $100 bill was genuine. ‘So what happened next?’ I asked Newsom. ‘Well, she returned the $100 bill to me and told me to be careful next time,’ he answered.”
Now I can pretty much guarantee you that if bank teller spots you trying to (innocently, of course) deposit a fake $100 bill, he or she won’t just hand it back to you! Typically, somebody’ll be on the horn, with a quickness, with the Secret Service – the bankers will immediately confiscate that funny money from you, and thereby ensure that you will be the one “eating the loss,” in industry parlance.
(I mean really, what are you supposed to do with a $100 bill you know is fake? Use it to buy a pack of gum, ending up with 99 real dollars? Deposit it in an ATM and pray that the people who count the money happen to be on the MDMA that night? That’s a dilly of a pickle to be in.)
Keep in mind this is Rodel’s version of the story, and of course he might look at the world a little differently than you. For example, this is behavior he describes as “refusing to sign a speeding ticket.” (Well, yes, that great-grandmother pointlessly refused to sign her 60 in a 45 speeding ticket, but that wasn’t exactly why she got (unnecessarily) Tasered, one might think.)
So There You Have It.