A white woman in the US has apologised in the wake of viral footage that shows her calling police and claiming a black man was 'threatening' her life, after he told her to put her dog back on its leash - as per the park's rules.
Amy Cooper, 41, has said her actions were 'unacceptable'. She was filmed making an hysterical call to police after bird-watcher Christian Cooper, 57, saw her in the Ramble area of New York's Central Park and said her dog had to be on a leash in that area due to wildlife protection.
In the clip Christian tells the woman, who is wearing a face mask, to stay back as she asks him to stop filming. She then says she will call the cops adding: "I'm going to tell them there's an African American threatening my life," to which he calmly responds: "Please tell them whatever you like."
The woman whips out her phone, calls the police and says: "I'm in the Ramble and an African American man with a bicycle helmet, he is recording me and threatening my dog."
As she talks the dog squirms and tries to get away. After a pause she repeats: "I'm am in Central Park, there is an African American man. He is recording me and threatening my dog."
Then she seems to become panicked and cries: "I'm sorry I can't hear. I'm being threatened by a man in the Ramble, please send the cops immediately... I'm in Central Park in the Ramble. I don't know."
By this point, she has managed to clip the dog's leash back on and Christian tells her: "Thank you," before he stops filming.
The clip was shared by Christian's sister Melody Cooper and quickly went viral, racking up more 11 million views.
Now the woman has apologised and has been placed on administrative leave from her job as head of insurance investment solution at Franklin Templeton, with the company saying it is carrying out an investigation. She has also returned her dog to the shelter she got it from after social media users expressed concern for its welfare.
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
Issuing an apology via NBC she said: "I sincerely and humbly apologise to everyone, especially to that man, his family.
"It was unacceptable and I humbly and fully apologise 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 realise especially today that I think of [the police] as a protection agency, and unfortunately, this has caused me to realise that there are so many people in this country that don't have that luxury."
Appearing on NBC New York News Christian about the incident he said: "If the habitat is destroyed, we won't be able to go there to see the birds, to enjoy the plantings.
"The only way they can keep the dog from eating the treat is to put it on a leash. At some point, she decided, 'I'm going to play the race card,' I guess."
He went on to say that he continued to film the woman because he refused to be intimidated, adding: "We live in an age of Ahmaud Arbery where black men are gunned down because of assumptions people make about black men, black people, and I'm just not going to participate in that."
Police confirm a call came in from the Ramble at around 8am but no reports were filed or arrests made. They say they responded to the call but neither Amy nor Christian were there when they arrived.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter
Topics: US News
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