On Twitter three trends relate to the same story, and you can probably guess the broad strokes: #AfricanAmerican #CentralParkKaren #AmyCooper.
It began with this tweet.
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
Melody Cooper shared the video of her bird-watcher brother, Christian Cooper. On Monday morning in Central Park’s Ramble, he’d addressed a white woman, who refused to leash her dog. So, he filmed her rule-breaking, and she called the cops in a very Karen move. Note how her “I need to speak to your manager” tone switches to frantic when she calls 911 on the “African-American man” that she claims is threatening her life. Meanwhile, Christian Cooper doesn’t move toward her or appear to be threatening her in any way.
On his Facebook page, Christian explained what happened before the video began. He told her to leash her dog. When she didn’t, he then offered the dog a treat. He’s since noted in news interviews that he carries treats for just such events because dog owners might be cool with letting their pets off-leash despite posted rules. But they don’t like the idea of strangers giving them treats, so it usually urges the owners to leash the dog. At that point, the woman became hostile, saying, “Don’t touch my dog.” Then he began filming.
The video spread quickly on social media, and the identity of the woman was revealed: Amy Cooper, no relation to Christian and Melody.
This story sparked outrage on Twitter, with many calling Amy Cooper’s actions racist and dangerous. Here’s a sampling of the responses:
#CentralParkKaren said she would call the police on this innocent guy and tell them "there's an African American man threatening to kill me" when he clearly isn't.— Kobi ☮️ (@ProPeace97) May 26, 2020
That kind of false report can be deadly, especially for black men. She deserves to be charged with a hate crime. https://t.co/2ZlUoGZDjM
Women like #AmyCooper weaponized their 'whiteness' for centuries to Maim/Kill/Deny black people life & liberty.— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@SholaMos1) May 26, 2020
Her action isn't 'abhorrent' its EVIL. Listen to her fake shriek & fear. This got African Americans lynched & its why she called the cops.
She's a Karen.
This is serious. Happened today in Manhattan. As a public defender for over a decade, I have tried cases where the Manhattan DA uses a "hysterical 911 call" as categorical evidence of guilt. Usually there's no video like this to refute it. (1/4) https://t.co/rvRE8QFT5N— Eliza Orlins (@elizaorlins) May 25, 2020
It’s cute that we’re calling her #CentralParkKaren but let’s not trivialise this. This behaviour is more than “let me see the manager” type thing. Her behaviour is dangerous, and elitist and simply using her KNOWN privileges in society to put someone in real danger. https://t.co/PMhR1P3AhW— Izzie De Veer (@izzie_veer) May 26, 2020
amy cooper still trending at #3 nationwide, and i counted literally SIX other trending topics related to her, including the words “fire her,” “administrative,” “#CentralParkKaren,” and “Emmett Till”— jaime (@jaime_the_13th) May 26, 2020
once more with feeling, fuck you amy cooper. pic.twitter.com/VVY5fEU64F
This is the picture of one of the most violent persons walking this earth. She was ready to have a black man murdered because she couldn't follow the rules! #CentralParkKaren #AmyCooper #FranklinTempleton https://t.co/0TuTuG0iFf— Petunia_luv (@LuvPetunia) May 26, 2020
Amy Cooper was not just publicly shamed for her heinous behavior. The video’s depiction of alleged animal abuse led to her losing the dog, who was surrendered to Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, Inc.
She has also been put on administrative leave from her job as VP of Investment Solutions at Franklin Templeton. The company tweeted this news:
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
Amy Cooper lamented to CNN, “My entire life is being destroyed right now.” She insisted, “I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way.” She also said, “I think I was just scared. When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening.”
“You don’t know what’s going to happen” is exactly why Christian Cooper recorded their interaction. He 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. This woman thought she could exploit that to her advantage, and I wasn’t having it.”
Ahmaud Arbery was a 25-year-old Black man who was jogging last February when he was fatally shot by two white men, Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael. The police’s lack of movement on the murder case spurred public outcry through social media. In the case of the Coopers, both parties left the Ramble before the police arrived. No arrests were made. No summons was filed.
CNN asked Christian if he’d accept an apology from Amy Cooper. The Harvard graduate who is currently the senior biomedical editor at Health Science Communications, 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.”
Amy Cooper has since issued an apology via a phone call to NBC New York:
“I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man, his family. It was unacceptable and I humbly and fully apologize 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.
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.”
Perhaps this comes from a sincere place. However, as a white woman and a New Yorker, I’m calling bullshit. In this day and age, it’s impossible—or at the very least unconscionable—to live in this city and be this oblivious to white privilege and institutional racism. This is the city of Bernie Goetz, the Central Park Five, Sean Bell, and Eric Garner, names that speak of tragedies that dominated headlines for years. White fear has long been a serious issue here that’s cost Black men their safety, their freedom, and their lives. No amount of white tears will wash that reality away.
Twitter users are not buying her apology either.
Of course, Amy Cooper’s apology is embedded with yet another lie.— Staying in the Game (@AdrienneLaw) May 26, 2020
She claims she saw the police as protective but learned through this incident that not everyone has that "luxury."
Cooper knew police were a threat to the Black bird watcher, which is why she weaponized his race. https://t.co/ZwhNDfzUtU
Fuck her fake ass apology. Her statement even shows her racism. Central Park Karen, Amy Cooper refused to humanize CHRISTIAN COOPER, whose name has been trending & instead calls him "that man". Then she uses the cop buzz words that she "felt threatened" to cover her ass. Fake ass pic.twitter.com/DKmciBToFu— Lynn V (@lynnv378) May 26, 2020
The Amy Cooper apology has surfaced. She now claims she didn't realize that unleashing her inner Karen could result in death by police for Black people. That doesn't add up cause she was leering that she was calling the police on an AFRICAN AMERICAN male. It was a weaponized move https://t.co/cCU7fAS1NX— Noirdos (@noirdosser) May 26, 2020
I don’t buy Amy Cooper’s apology one bit.— Hamish Mitchell (@H_MitchellPhoto) May 26, 2020
The video exposed her as a racist, a sh*tty dog owner, and an all-around horrible person.
She’s just sorry that it was all caught on video, and is now being held accountable. https://t.co/aE2VCW9vL0
Update: "Amy Cooper"— JM (@jamesmcelweejr) May 26, 2020
*The dog has been taken from her
*The Police did not arrest her🙄
*She got "✌administrative leave✌
*She offered a questionable apology
*Christian Cooper(the black man) is a hero for standing his ground and exposing her lie.
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