NEW YORK — A woman apologized for calling the police on a black man Monday after the two argued about her unleashed dog in New York City’s Central Park. The incident resulted in her being fired from her job Tuesday.
Part of the confrontation between Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper -- who are not related -- was recorded on Christian Cooper’s cellphone in a wooded area of Central Park known as the Ramble, CNN reported. He posted the video on Facebook. His sister, Melody Cooper, also posted the encounter on Twitter.
“I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way,” Amy Cooper, who is white, told CNN. She added that she wanted to “publicly apologize to everyone.”
The Ramble is a wildlife habitat where dogs tend to disturb birds, which is why Christian Cooper commented about the unleashed dog to Amy Cooper, WABC reported. Dogs are supposed to be leashed in that area of Central Park, according to the park’s website.
“She was actually standing right next to the sign that says dogs in the Ramble have to be leashed at all times,” Christian Cooper told the television station.
As Christian Cooper began recording, Amy Cooper asked him to stop and approached the man, WPIX reported.
“I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” Amy Cooper is heard in the video. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”
”My thinking was, I can sort of capitulate to this racial intimidation, or I could just do what I’m doing and continue recording," Christian Cooper told WABC.
As Christian Cooper continued to record the exchange, Amy Cooper is shown making a telephone call.
“There is an African American man. I am in Central Park,” she said as she struggles to control the dog. "He is recording me and threatening myself and my dog. ... I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble. Please send the cops immediately.”
Police responded to the park after the 8:10 a.m. call, officials told WPIX.
“Upon arrival, police determined two individuals had engaged in a verbal dispute,” an NYPD spokesperson told the television station. “There were no arrests or summonses issued and both parties went on their way.”
Amy Cooper surrendered the dog to the shelter where he had been adopted from while the dispute is being investigated, according to Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, Inc.
“The dog is now in our rescue’s care and he is safe and in good health,” the post stated.
“I think I was just scared,” Amy Cooper told CNN, adding that her “entire life is being destroyed right now.”
“When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening," she told the network. "It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.”
Amy Cooper was originally placed on administrative leave by her employer, investment company Franklin Templeton. However, the company announced Tuesday afternoon that she had been terminated, “effectively immediately.”
“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,” the company’s statement read.
New York City Councilman Mark Levine called the incident “disgusting.”
“Filling a false police report is a crime,” he tweeted. “Being racist is reprehensible. There needs to be accountability for this.”
Cox Media Group