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.”