Amy Cooper, the white woman who called the police on a black man whom she claimed was “threatening” her life as they argued about her dog in a viral video, says she wants to “publicly apologize to everyone” involved.
The man, Christian Cooper (no relation), recorded and posted a video on Facebook in which she told him she was calling the police “to tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life” after he asked her to leash her dog in the Ramble, an area of Central Park in New York City where he was birdwatching, as park rules mandate.
“I’m not a racist,” Amy Cooper said in an interview with CNN published on Tuesday. “I did not mean to harm that man in any way.”
“I think I was just scared,” she told CNN. “When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening.”
“It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible,” she added.
Cooper’s LinkedIn profile lists her as “Head of Insurance Investment Solutions at Franklin Templeton.” The company put out a statement late Monday night saying that Cooper had been put on administrative leave.
“We take these matters very seriously, and we do not condone racism of any kind,” the firm said.
Later Tuesday afternoon, Franklin Templeton announced that Amy Cooper had been fired.
Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately. We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton.
— Franklin Templeton (@FTI_US) May 26, 2020
Amy Cooper told CNN that her “entire life is being destroyed right now” after the video went viral on social media.
“I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” she tells Christian Cooper in the video after he tells her three times to stay away from him. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life.”
“Please tell them whatever you like,” he replied.
She then takes out her phone and calls the police.
“There is an African-American man. I’m in Central Park,” Amy Cooper tells the operator as her dog squirms in its leash and yelps. “He is recording me and threatening myself and my dog.”
Her voice grows agitated as she speaks on the phone, saying again “I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble. Please send the cops immediately!”
Christian Cooper told CNN he had recorded the exchange “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 said. “This woman thought she could exploit that to her advantage, and I wasn’t having it.”
The New York City Police Department told CNN that neither Amy nor Christian Cooper were on location by the time deputies had arrived, and that no arrests were made.
Watch the video below: