A video of a white woman calling the police on a black man who asked her to leash her dog has gone viral.
The woman in the video has been identified as Amy Cooper, and the video starts a bit after she is asked by the man, Christian Cooper, to leash her dog in the Rambles area of Manhattan’s Central Park. Amy Cooper approached him, holding her dog by its collar, and demanded that he stop recording her.
She then threatened to call the police.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she said.
Christian Cooper did not advance towards her and does not appear to be threatening her in the video. Knowing he has the whole incident recorded, he encouraged her to do it.
And that’s exactly what she did.
Amy Cooper told the police over the phone that an African American man is “recording me and threatening me and my dog.”
Her voice then heightened, feigning terror. “Please send the cops immediately!” she screamed into the phone, before finally leashing her dog.
Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Bramble 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. pic.twitter.com/3YnzuATsDm
— Melody Cooper (@melodyMcooper) May 25, 2020
The video was shared by Christian Cooper’s sister, Melody Cooper, and it has been viewed over 20 million times on Twitter alone.
Christian Cooper is a writer in New York City who has worked on several comic book series. He wrote the first Star Trek comic to feature a gay male character, Yoshi Mishima, in April 1998.
He has also sometimes appeared as a guest host on the Gay USA podcast.
He’s an avid bird watcher and he said that’s why he cares so much about leashing laws – unleashed dogs, he says, can destroy the habitat for birds.
“If the habitat is destroyed we won’t be able to go there to see the birds, to enjoy the plantings,” he told NBC New York.
He said he recorded the incident because he was worried about possible violence against him.
“We live in an age of Ahmaud Arbery where black men are gunned down because of assumptions people make about black men, black people, and I’m just not going to participate in that,” he said, referring to a black man who was fatally shot in Georgia this past February.
New York police confirmed that they were called to Central Park because “two individuals had engaged in a verbal dispute.”
“There were no arrests or summonses issued; both parties went on their way,” the police said in a statement.
Amy Cooper is an investment banker at the firm Franklin Templeton, where she has already been placed on administrative leave.
She also voluntarily turned in her dog to a rescue for cocker spaniels, which said that they are holding her dog “while this matter is being addressed.”
“I think I was just scared,” Amy Cooper told CNN. “When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.”