NEW YORK CITY (KRON) – A woman who was caught on camera calling 911 to report a black man who told her to leash her dog in Central Park is now apologizing and has been placed on administrative leave.
Christian Cooper said he was bird watching in the wooded area of Central Park’s Ramble, where dogs are required to be on leashes.
That’s where he saw Amy Cooper with her dog, running freely in the area.
Christian wrote on Facebook that he approached Amy and asked her to leash her dog.
In the video, Amy refuses to do so and calls 911, telling the dispatcher that “there is an African American man. I am in Central Park. He is recording me and threatening myself and my dog.” At one point, Cooper shouts to the operator, “Please send the cops immediately.”
The video went viral after being posted on Twitter by Christian’s sister, Melody.
“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,” she tweeted.
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
Can you please stop? Sir, I’m asking you to stop,” Amy says in the video as she grabs her dog by its collar and walks toward Christian.
“Please don’t come close to me,” Christian says multiple times as Amy continues to ask him to stop recording. During the incident, Amy Cooper’s dog struggles as she lifts its front legs off the ground by the animal’s collar.
Amy can be heard saying she’ll take a picture and call the police.
“Please call the cops,” Christian replies and stands in place and continues to record the incident.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” Amy says. As she dials and walks back, the dog continues to gasp for air.
As the video continues, Amy Cooper tells a 911 operator, “I’m sorry. I’m in the Ramble and there’s a man, African American, he has a bicycle helmet. He is recording me and threatening me and my dog.”
“I think I was just scared,” Amy Cooper told CNN. “When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.”
A dog rescue agency for Cocker Spaniels wrote in a Facebook post that the dog was surrendered to them voluntarily “while this matter is being addressed.”
The New York Police Department says it is investigating.