Amy Cooper, the white woman who called police on a black man after he requested that she leash her dog in New York City’s Central Park, has issued a public apology.
After a viral video showed her calling 911 and falsely claiming that Christian Cooper, an avid bird watcher, was “threatening my life,” Amy Cooper late on Monday said she was sorry and that her call wasn’t motivated by racism.
“I’m not a racist,” she insisted, according to CNN. “I did not mean to harm that man in any way.”
She said that she didn’t properly consider how calling the police could negatively affect Christian Cooper’s well being.
“When I think about the police, I’m such a blessed person,” she said. “I’ve come to realize especially today that I think of [the police] as a protection agency, and unfortunately, this has caused me to realize that there are so many people in this country that don’t have that luxury.”
“I’m gonna tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” Amy Cooper can be heard saying before calling 911 despite the man appearing not to show any signs of being aggressive towards her.
Christian Cooper does not make any threats in the video and actually asks her to stay away from him. The former Marvel Comics editor and writer who now works as the senior biomedical editor at Health Science Communications, said he started recording the incident when the woman refused to put a leash on her dog, and when she moved toward him.
My brother & I are so grateful for your concern! He is fine and left to continue birding after she leashed the dog, as he politely requested. I wanted folks to know what happened to make sure it never happens again from her. All she had to do was put her poor dog on the leash.
— Melody Cooper (@melodyMcooper) May 26, 2020
“There is an African-American man, I’m in Central park, he is recording me, and threatening myself and my dog,” the woman tells the 911 dispatcher. “I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble please send the cops immediately,” she cries out in an exaggerated voice.
Christian’s sister Melody Cooper posted the footage to Twitter, pointing out that the area requires that dogs be leashed.
“Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Bramble [sic] in NY’s Central Park, where it is clearly posted on signs that dogs MUST be leashed at all times, and someone like my brother (an avid birder) politely asks her to put her dog on the leash,” Melody Cooper wrote in her tweet. She also said her brother
is a birder and says he often watches birds in Central Park, which is what he said he was doing before the Memorial Day encounter with the other Cooper.
Amy Cooper has been placed on “administrative leave” from her job at a New York investment firm and has voluntarily surrendered her dog to the Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue until she can resolve her issues.