A viral video showing a white woman in New York City’s Central Park threatening to call the cops on a black man after he requested that she leash her dog has sparked outrage on social media and has led to her being placed on “administrative leave” from her job at a New York investment firm.
“I’m gonna tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” the woman, who has been identified as 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, the man who can be heard speaking to Amy Cooper in the video, 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.
Christian Cooper, whom Amy Cooper tried to get killed by the police, is a Harvard graduate, a former Marvel Comics editor and now the senior biomedical editor at Health Science Communications
I need the “progressive” left to stop pretending income equality will solve racism. pic.twitter.com/m15UxcIRTL
— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) May 26, 2020
Police eventually responded to Amy Cooper’s call but left without making an arrest. “Upon arrival, police determined two individuals had engaged in a verbal dispute,” a spokesperson for the NYPD said, per WPIX. “There were no arrests or summonses issued and both parties went on their way.”
“If the habitat is destroyed we won’t be able to go there to see the birds, to enjoy the plantings,” Christian Cooper told NBC New York. “The only way they can keep the dog from eating the treat is to put it on a leash… At some point, she decided I’m gonna play the race card, I guess.”
Franklin Templeton, the investment firm that Amy Cooper works for released a statement on the incident late Monday night after being inundated with calls to fire Cooper from her position at the firm.
“In response to an incident involving an employee on May 25th, Franklin Templeton issued the following statement,” Franklin Templeton tweeted.
“We take these matters very seriously, and we do not condone racism of any kind,” the company said in the statement. “While we are in the process of investigating the situation, the employee involved as been put on administrative leave.”
In response to an incident involving an employee on May 25th, Franklin Templeton issued the following statement. pic.twitter.com/8f2lMwK0r5
— Franklin Templeton (@FTI_US) May 26, 2020
Cooper also voluntarily surrendered her dog to the Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue until she can resolve her issues.
“Thank you to the concerned public for reaching out to us about a video involving a dog that was adopted from our rescue a few years ago,” the shelter wrote. “As of this evening, the owner has voluntarily surrendered the dog in question to our rescue while this matter is being addressed. Our mission remains the health and safety of our rescued dogs. The dog is now in our rescue’s care and he is safe and in good health. We will not be responding to any further inquiries about the situation, either publicly or privately. Thank you for your understanding.”