Woman Apologizes for 'Unacceptable' Reaction to Black Man in Park

Man who asked Amy Cooper to leash dog records her calling cops, saying he's 'threatening' her
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2020 7:48 AM CDT

A video taken in New York's Central Park over the weekend has gone viral, leading to accusations of racism against an investment exec. Per NBC New York, a woman posted the clip on Twitter showing her brother, Christian Cooper, in a confrontation with Amy Cooper (no relation) Monday after he says he asked her to put her dog on a leash, per the rules in that part of the park. "That's important to us birders," Christian Cooper tells CNN, adding to NBC: "If the habitat is destroyed, we won't be able to go there to see birds." Per his own Facebook post, she refused, which is when he offered the dog a treat he carries "just for such intransigence." That's when he started recording and things "took a dark turn," he notes. The video shows Amy Cooper, who's white, insisting he stop recording. When he won't, she tells him she'll call the cops and "tell them there's an African-American man threatening my life."

The clip shows her doing that, saying into her phone, "I'm being threatened by a man ... Please send the cops immediately!" The NYPD tells CNN that by the time officers arrived, neither Cooper was there; no arrests were made. Cooper, now on "administrative leave" by her employer, tells NBC she knows what she did was "unacceptable," but that Christian Cooper was screaming at her (he denies that) and that she was scared and didn't know what was in the dog treat. Christian Cooper notes, "We live in an age of Ahmaud Arbery where black men are gunned down because of assumptions people make ... I'm just not going to participate in that." Meanwhile, after complaints online that Amy Cooper seemed to be choking her dog while restraining it during the incident, the shelter she adopted it from notes she'd "voluntarily surrendered" the dog back as the shelter looks into what happened. (More Central Park stories.)

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