Amy Cooper: The white woman apologizes after calling the police for a black man in Central Park

Racially biased 911 calls are a huge problem. This isn't a solution

“I’m not a racist. I didn’t mean to harm that man in any way,” she said, adding that she also meant no harm to the African American community.

Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper are not connected.

Both told CNN that the dispute had started because Amy Cooper’s dog was not on a leash. Dogs should be kept on a leash at all times in the Ramble, according to the park website.
The dog was handed over to the shelter from which he had been adopted days earlier as the dispute was being addressed, according to a Facebook post by Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, Inc.

“The dog is now being treated for our rescue and is safe and healthy,” said the post.

Christian Cooper recorded videos of part of their meeting and published on Facebook, where it has since been shared over 2,000 times.

“I’m taking a picture and I’m calling the cops,” Amy Cooper is heard saying in the video. “I will tell them that there is an African American man who is threatening my life.”

The New York police department told CNN when agents responded, neither Christian Cooper nor Amy Cooper were present. No arrests or summons were made, according to the NYPD.

“I think I was just scared,” said Amy Cooper. “When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s going on. It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.”

He told CNN that since the video was released, his “whole life has been destroyed right now.”

She was placed on administrative leave by her employer, the investment company Franklin Templeton.

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“We take these issues very seriously and do not forgive any kind of racism. While we are studying the situation, the employee involved has been placed on administrative leave,” reads the company note.

The incident is referred to as another example of white people calling the police over African Americans for trivial things.
“I filmed it because I thought it was important to document things,” said Christian Cooper. “Unfortunately we live in an era with things like Ahmaud Arbery, where black men are seen as targets. This woman thought she could exploit it to her advantage, and I didn’t have it.”

Asked if he would accept his apology, Christian Cooper told CNN that “if he is genuine and if he plans to keep his dog on a leash on the Ramble going forward, then we have no problems with each other.”

What led to the video?

The incident started between 7:30 am and 8:00 am on Monday morning, both sides reported to CNN on Monday.

Christian Cooper, who described himself as an avid bird watcher, was out birding on the Ramble. The area is “a major bird watching hotspot. It’s on the Atlantic boardwalk,” he said.

That’s when he says he saw a dog on a leash.

“This is important for us bird watchers because we know that dogs will not be off the leash at all and we can go there to see the birds that live in the ground,” said Christian Cooper. “People spend a lot of money and time planting in those areas too. Nothing grows in a dog race for a reason.”

Amy Cooper tells CNN she was walking her wild dog, knowing it was against the rules.

“He was running in an open field. This man was watching the birds. He came out of the bush,” he said, adding that Christian Cooper was screaming at her.

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Christian Cooper says the dog “was tearing apart the plantations” and told Amy Cooper that the dog was to be on a leash. He says he wasn’t yelling at Amy Cooper, and “he was actually quite calm”.

The two went back and forth on the dog’s leash. Christian Cooper, according to his Facebook post, then said to Amy Cooper: “Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I will do what I want, but you won’t like it.”

“I didn’t know what that meant. When you’re alone in a wooded area, it’s absolutely terrifying, isn’t it?” Amy Cooper said.

This is when Christian Cooper says he brought out the dog’s treats. He told CNN he brings treats with him to persuade dog owners to put their dogs on a leash. Christian Cooper said that dog owners, in his experience, hate him when a stranger feeds their treats and immediately detain their dogs afterwards.

Amy Cooper says he was throwing them at his dog, Christian Cooper says he never threw any surprises.

And that’s when he started recording the accident, said Christian Cooper on Facebook.

What happened in the video?

The video begins with Amy Cooper taking her dog by the collar and telling Christian Cooper to stop recording.

“Please don’t go near me,” says Christian Cooper as he approaches

“Sir, I’m asking you to stop registering,” says Amy Cooper.

Again he asks her not to come closer.

This is when Amy Cooper says she will call the police.

“I will tell them that there is an African American man who is threatening my life,” he says.

The way 911 calls blacks is a new twist on something old: the white flight

“Please tell him what you want,” says Christian Cooper.

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The video shows Amy Cooper on her phone.

“There’s an African American man with a bicycle helmet,” he says. “He’s checking me in and threatening me and my dog.”

While on the phone, his dog looks tired and tries to free himself while trying to hold him back.

“I am threatened by a man on the Ramble,” he continues in an audibly distraught voice. “Please send the cops immediately!”

The video ends with Christian Cooper saying “Thanks”.

CNN’s Julie In contributed to this report.


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