Amy Cooper continues to receive backlash after she called the cops on Christian Cooper (no relation) in New York City over a minor confrontation. The incident has, once again, shined a light on how a Black person can be easily criminalized no matter your profession.
On Monday, Christian’s sister Melody posted the clip of Amy — identified by the mocking name “Karen” — calling the police on Christian. Amy was recorded by Christian after he simply asked her to comply with New York City law and put her dog on a leash in a section of Central Park that’s known for bird-watching. Amy was clearly flustered by Christian’s actions because she told him to stop recording her right before she dialed the police.
“I’m gonna tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” Amy says in a move that could put Christian’s life in danger when he was simply recording her. To add insult to injury, Amy was so adamant about criminalizing Christian that she seemed to forget about her dog whom she was dragging by the collar. You can check out the disturbing clip below.
Christian’s sister described him as “an avid birder” in her tweet of the incident. It turns out, Christian’s interest in birding is more than just a hobby. According to a statement released by the National Audubon about the Central Park Ramble incident, Christian Cooper is identified as a “a board member of the New York City Audubon Society, where he “promotes conservation of New York City’s outdoor spaces and inclusion of all people.”
Christian is also known in the comic world as a former writer and editor for the huge publisher Marvel Comics. According to the comic site Bleeding Cool, Christian wrote Marvel Comics Presents Stories, the Darkhold series for over a year, and he wrote for Excalibur. He also edited a few X-Men collections. A major milestone came when he wrote for the Star Trek: Starfleet Academy comic for a few years and co-created the first openly gay Star Trek character, Yoshi Mishima, in 1998.
Cooper is also a Harvard graduate, serving as the president of the Harvard Ornithological Club in the 1980s. So clearly, he’s not new to the study of birds.
Cooper — who is now a senior biomedical editor at Health Science Communications — recounted his encounter at Central Park on his Facebook. He said that Amy’s dog was “tearing through the plantings” in the Ramble section of the park and he said that he told her, “Ma’am, dogs in the Ramble have to be on the leash at all times. The sign is right there.”
He said that Amy replied, “The dog runs are closed. He needs his exercise,” to which Christian said he replied, “All you have to do is take him to the other side of the drive, outside the Ramble, and you can let him run off leash all you want.”
According to a Roy Tsao, a man who said he’s a friend of Cooper, “The Ramble is a wooded area in Central Park with a pond & brook that is famously an oasis for resting migratory birds – which is why dogs are required to be kept on leash.”
However, Amy, clearly didn’t care, which caused Christian to respond, “Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it,” according to his Facebook post.
Then Christian says he pulled out a dog treat and called after Amy’s dog. He said he carries such items “just for such intransigence.”
When the dog started coming towards Christian this is when he says Amy yelled, “DON’T YOU TOUCH MY DOG!!!!!”
Christian went on to say, “That’s when I started video recording with my iPhone, and when her inner Karen fully emerged and took a dark turn.”
Amy, a.k.a. Karen, has since faced major repercussions for her cop-calling. Her employer, Franklin Templeton, released a statement saying, “We take these matters very seriously, and we do not condone racism of any kind. While we are in the process of investigating the situation, the employee involved has been put on administrative leave.”
Approximately 14 hours later, following an internal review, Franklin Templeton announced Amy Cooper’s termination, stating via Twitter, “[w]e do not tolerate racism of any kind…”
Folks concerned with Amy’s dog even reached out to the animal rescue that used to take care of the canine. The Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, Inc. released a statement on its Facebook page, saying Amy Cooper “voluntarily surrendered the dog in question” while the situation is being addressed.
Amy has since apologized after the Central Park video went viral, telling NBC New York that her actions were “unacceptable” and she apologizes “to everyone who’s seen that video, everyone that’s been offended…everyone who thinks of me in a lower light and I understand why they do.” She further said that she considers herself “a blessed person” who said it was only Monday when she realized “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.”