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"I'm going to call the cops." Why you're seeing Amy Cooper's name everywhere right now.

On Monday morning, Christian Cooper, an avid bird-watcher, was walking through the Ramble – a section in New York City’s Central Park which attracts over 230 bird species.

While on his walk, Christian came across a woman who was walking with her dog.

The woman didn’t have her dog on a leash, which is against the rules in the area to allow for bird-watching.

Watch a snippet from the confrontation below. Post continues after video.

“That’s important to us birders because we know that dogs won’t be off leash at all and we can go to [the Ramble] to see the ground-dwelling birds,” Christian later told CNN.

“People spend a lot of money and time planting in those areas as well.”

Christian asked the woman to leash her dog. She refused and almost immediately, the situation escalated.

In a video which has since gone viral, Christian pulled out his phone and started filming the masked woman, who marched towards him and demanded that he stop filming.

“Please don’t come close to me,” Christian is heard saying as she approaches.

“Sir, I’m asking you to stop recording me,” the woman, Amy Cooper, who has no relation to Christian, responded.

After Christian asked Amy to move back once again, she threatened to call the police.

Listen to the latest episode of Mamamia’s daily news podcast, The Quicky, below. Post continues after podcast.

“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she said.

While on the phone with the police, Amy is heard saying: “I’m in the Ramble and an African American man with a bicycle helmet, he is recording me and threatening me and my dog.”

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After repeating herself, the woman suddenly appeared shaken up, crying out: “I’m sorry, I can’t hear! I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble, please send the cops immediately.”

While on the phone to the police, the woman put the leash back on her dog and Christian ended the video, thanking her for doing so.

When police arrived at the scene, neither Christian or Amy were present. No arrests were made.

On Monday afternoon, Christian’s sister, Melody Cooper, shared the video of the incident on Twitter.

“Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Ramble in New York’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,” she wrote.

At the time of publishing, the video has been viewed over 35 million times.

When asked why he decided to film the incident, Christian told CNN“I videotaped it because I thought it was important to document things.”

“Unfortunately we live in an era with things like Ahmaud Arbery, where black men are seen as targets,” he added.

“This woman thought she could exploit that to her advantage, and I wasn’t having it.”

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READ: His name was Ahmaud Arbery: Why you’re seeing this man’s face all over your social media feeds.

Since the video was posted, Amy Cooper’s employer, investment management company Franklin Templeton, put her on administrative leave before firing her.

“Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately,” the company said in a statement.

“We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton.”


Michael Fischer, president of the Central Park Civic Association, also released a statement, calling for Amy to be banned from Central Park.

“The Central Park Civic Association condemns this behavior and is calling on Mayor de Blasio to impose a lifetime ban on this lady for her deliberate, racial misleading of law enforcement and violating behavioral guidelines set so that all can enjoy our city’s most famous park.”

After the video went viral, the woman was also accused of mistreating her dog, as she held onto its collar as it struggled.

On Monday, Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue Inc. shared that the woman’s dog, a Cocker Spaniel named Henry, had been surrendered to the dog rescue group.

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“The dog is now in our rescue’s care and he is safe and in good health,” they shared on Facebook.

Speaking to CNN, Amy said that her “entire life is being destroyed right now”.

“I think I was just scared,” she added. “When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.”

She later released a statement, apologising for her actions.

“I want to apologise to Chris Cooper for my actions when I encountered him in Central Park yesterday,” she said on Tuesday.

“I reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions when, in fact, I was the one who was acting inappropriately by not having my dog on a leash,” she continued.

“I am well aware of the pain that misassumptions and insensitive statements about race cause and would never have imagined that I would be involved in the type of incident that occurred with Chris.

“I hope that a few mortifying seconds in a lifetime of 40 years will not define me in his eyes and that he will accept my sincere apology.”

When asked by CNN whether he would accept her apology, Christian responded: “If it’s genuine and if she plans on keeping her dog on a leash in the Ramble going forward, then we have no issues with each other”.

Feature Image: Twitter.


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