If you need any more evidence that some White people are ready to brandish their “White privilege” and sense of entitlement like a weapon against Black people, then pull up a chair and check out at this viral video.
A White woman was out walking her dog in Central Park in New York City at the same time a Black man, Christian Cooper, was engaging in his favorite hobby of bird watching. The rules stapled to the trees clearly stated that dogs are to be kept on a leash at all times in an area in the world-famous park known as the Bramble.
When he pointed this out, the woman became belligerent, and that’s when he started recording.
The woman approached him aggressively and angrily and pointed her finger at him as he told her not to come any closer to him.
Because the man kept recording, the woman said she was going to sic the police on him and tell them that she was being threatened by a Black man.
“There’s an African-American, he’s recording me and threatening me and my dog,” she claimed. The video clearly shows the man is not threatening or approaching the woman.
She then changed her voice to convey that she was in immediate danger. Check out the madness below:
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 woman, who took on the posture of being a damsel in distress, ironically has the same surname as Christian Cooper. According to NBC New York, her name is Amy Cooper, and she was immediately put on leave by the company that employs her, Franklin Templeton. The company issued the following statement on Twitter:
In response to an incident involving an employee on May 25th, Franklin Templeton issued the following statement. pic.twitter.com/8f2lMwK0r5
— Franklin Templeton (@FTI_US) May 26, 2020
“Upon arrival, police determined two individuals had engaged in a verbal dispute. There were no arrests or summonses issued,” the New York City Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information, said in a statement, according to NBC.
Melody Cooper, the sister Christian Cooper, issued a follow-up tweet about the incident. “I wanted folks to know what happened to make sure it never happens again from her. All she had to do was put her poor dog on the leash,” she said of the video that received 20 million views in just seven hours.
My brother & I are so grateful for your concern! He is fine and left to continue birding after she leashed the dog, as he politely requested. I wanted folks to know what happened to make sure it never happens again from her. All she had to do was put her poor dog on the leash.
— Melody Cooper (@melodyMcooper) May 26, 2020
NBC New York reported that Amy Cooper is now contrite about her behavior.
“I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man, his family,” she said to the television station.
She also addressed the infuriating issue of being a White woman who deliberately attempted to weaponized the police against an innocent Black man.
“When I think about the police, I’m such a blessed person. I’ve come to realize especially today that I think of [the police] as a protection agency, and unfortunately, this has caused me to realize that there are so many people in this country that don’t have that luxury,” she said.