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Christian Cooper, victim of Central Park Karen ACCEPTS her apology

The black man who recorded the now infamous viral video of a white investment banker hysterically calling the police on him after he asked her to leash her dog in Central Park, has accepted her apology – but says the exchange is evidence of a much deeper problem rooted in US culture.

Harvard graduate Christian Cooper, 57, had been bird watching in an area of the park known as The Ramble over the Memorial Day weekend when he saw Amy Cooper walking her unleashed dog that was ‘tearing through the plantings’.

After pointing out to Cooper that dogs must be leashed in The Ramble at all times to protect wildlife habitats, the 41-year-old quickly became irate, dialing 911 on the former Marvel Comics editor, wailing that ‘an African American man is threatening my life’. 

She has since issued an apology saying, ‘I was the one who was acting inappropriately’ and that ‘I hope that a few mortifying seconds in a lifetime of 40 years will not define me in his eyes.’

And on Thursday, Christian told the panel of The View that he has accepted that apology but urged viewers to look at the bigger picture of racism that the encounter displayed.

Harvard graduate Christian, 57, had been bird watching in an area of the park known as The Ramble over the Memorial Day weekend when he saw Amy Cooper walking her unleashed dog that was ‘tearing through the plantings’.

The woman is seen petting her pooch then suddenly asks the man to stop filming

But when he doesn't stop she marches directly up to him with a stern message

After pointing out to Cooper that dogs must be leashed in The Ramble at all times to protect wildlife habitats, 41-year-old Amy Cooper quickly became irate, dialing 911 on the former Marvel Comics editor, wailing that ‘an African American man is threatening my life’

‘I do accept her apology,’ Christian said. ‘I think it’s a first step. I think she’s gotta do some reflection on what happened because up until the moment when she made that statement.

‘It was just a conflict between a birder and a dog walker, and then she took it to a very dark place. I think she’s gotta sort of examine why and how that happened.’

In the hours that followed the videos emergence, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio branded Cooper a ‘racist’ as outrage over the incident – commonly referred to as Central Park Karen – rippled out nationwide.

Cooper was terminated from her $170k-per-year role at as head of insurance investment solutions at Franklin Templeton shortly afterwards. A petition to ban her from Central Park for life also emerged, as did new legislation that would make falsely reporting an incident as a hate crime illegal from now on, should it pass.

Christian said the reaction isn’t necessarily about Cooper, or her snap-second judgement, but about the ‘underlying current of racism and racial perceptions that’s been going on for centuries and that permeates this city and this country that she tapped into.’

‘That’s what we really have to address; not the specifics of her, but why are we still plagued with that and how do we fix it.’

Christian said the reaction isn’t necessarily about Cooper, or her snap-second judgement, but about the ‘underlying current of racism and racial perceptions that’s been going on for centuries and that permeates this city and this country that she tapped into'

Christian said the reaction isn’t necessarily about Cooper, or her snap-second judgement, but about the ‘underlying current of racism and racial perceptions that’s been going on for centuries and that permeates this city and this country that she tapped into’

Christian, a board member of the NYC Audubon Society, also doubled down on his previous urges asking the public to stop making death threats against Cooper.

‘If you think that what she did was wrong, that she was trying to bring death by cop down on my head, then there is absolutely no way you can justify then turning around and putting a death threat on her head,’ he said.

Cooper explained that he’s also ‘uncomfortable’ with judging Cooper solely on a ‘few seconds…over very poor judgement.’

‘[There’s] no excusing that it was a racist act because it was a racist act,’ he told the show. ‘But [does] that define her entire life? Only she can tell us if that defines her entire life by what she does going forward.’

Christian Cooper’s sister, Melody Cooper, a writer for HBO who also shared the video to social media, said that when she saw the footage, she thought ‘It’s personal’.

‘I just imagined what happened to Mike Brown or George Floyd happening to him, and I wanted to make sure no other black person would have to go through that kind of weaponization of racism from her,’ she said.

‘If the cops showed up, they wouldn’t have seen his resume or known his job,’ she said of her high-flying brother, who now works as a biomedical editor for Health Science Communications. ‘This kind of racism can kill people. It could’ve killed my brother.’

Falsely reporting an incident as a hate crime should be criminalized, say New York lawmakers in new legislation, as city’s Commission on Human Rights launches investigation into Amy Cooper

Falsely reporting an incident as a hate crime could be criminalized in New York if new legislation proposed Tuesday is passed – a consideration spurred by a now infamous viral video of a white investment banker hysterically dialing 911 on an African-American birdwatcher.

The incident, involving Amy Marie Cooper, 41, and former Marvel Comics editor, Christian Cooper, 57, has been cited as the latest example of a white person weaponizing the police against a person of color.

In the footage widely shared on Monday, Christian, a Harvard graduate and board member of the New York City Audubon Society, is heard asking Cooper to leash her dog in an area of Central Park known as The Ramble to help preserve bird habitats. Cooper responds by calling law enforcement, frantically claiming that ‘an African American man is threatening my life’.

Police did respond to Central Park, but no arrests were made and both Cooper and Christian had left by the time they arrived.

Following the backlash against Cooper’s actions, New York State Lawmakers Assemblyman Felix Ortiz and Senator Brian Benjamin have now introduced legislation to criminalize any similar acts across the state in the future.

‘In the past year, we have seen many instances throughout both New York State and the country of people calling 911 on black people who are going about their everyday lives, only to be interrupted by someone calling the police for reasons that range from caution, to suspicious inkling to all out hated,’ Ortiz wrote in the bill’s justification.

Following the backlash against Cooper’s actions, New York State Lawmakers Assemblyman Felix Ortiz and Senator Brian Benjamin have now introduced legislation to criminalize any similar future acts across the state

Brian Benjamin

Following the backlash against Cooper’s actions, New York State Lawmakers Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (left) and Senator Brian Benjamin (right) have now introduced legislation to criminalize any similar future acts across the state

The incident, involving Amy Marie Cooper, 41, and former Marvel Comics editor, Christian Cooper, 57, has been cited as yet another example of a white person weaponizing the police against a person of color

The incident, involving Amy Marie Cooper, 41, and former Marvel Comics editor, Christian Cooper, 57, has been cited as yet another example of a white person weaponizing the police against a person of color

State Sen. Benjamin, meanwhile, called the incident ‘frightening’ and voiced his shock at such an occurrence happening just blocks away from where ‘many of my constituents live’.

‘This woman was so willing to fabricate a story despite being filmed,’ he said, as reported by PIX11. ‘I worry that if she had not been filmed, this woman may have been given the benefit of the doubt, and that this man could have faced serious, perhaps life threatening consequences if the police had arrived.’

While the NYPD say they’ll not be pursuing charges against Cooper, the New York City Commission on Human Rights has announced that it’s launching its own investigation into the matter.

‘At a time when the devastating impacts of racism in Black communities have been made so painfully clear—from racial disparities in COVID-19 outcomes, to harassment of essential workers on the frontlines—it is appalling to see these types of ugly threats directed at one New Yorker by another,’ Sapna Raj, deputy commissioner of the Law Enforcement Bureau at the Commission on Human Rights, told the NY Post.

‘Efforts to intimidate Black people by threatening to call law enforcement draw on a long, violent and painful history, and they are unacceptable. We encourage Ms. Cooper to cooperate with the Commission and meaningfully engage in a process to address the harm that she has caused, Raj added.

The Commission on Human Rights has issued a letter of inquiry to Cooper, requesting her cooperation in a pre-complaint intervention.

While the body cannot bring about criminal charges, it does have the authority to implement hefty fines for any perceived violations of human rights law, and can award compensatory damages to victims, including emotional distress damages.

‘The Commission can also order trainings on the NYC Human Rights Law, changes to policies, and develop restorative justice relief such as community service and mediated apologies, in lieu of or in addition to fines and monetary relief,’ the department said.

Amidst the fallout, Amy Cooper has been fired from her job at the investment firm Franklin Templeton. The Central Park Civic Association has also called for her to be banned from the park for life.

Concern was also raised for Cooper’s rescue dog, who appeared to be flailing around and trying to free itself from her grasp as she hauled the dog up by its neck harness. She has since surrendered the dog back to Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue.

Central Park birdwatcher says actions of white investment banker Amy Cooper, 41, who called the cops on him when he asked her to leash her dog were ‘definitely racist’ – but urges people to stop sending her death threats 

Christian Cooper, whose video of a white investment banker calling the police on him over the Memorial Day weekend went viral on Monday, has urged people to stop sending the woman death threats.

The birdwatcher acknowledged the apology of 41-year-old Amy Cooper but said her actions were still ‘definitely racist’.

‘I think her apology is sincere,’ Christian told CNN on Tuesday night. ‘I’m not sure that in that apology she recognizes that while she may not be or consider herself a racist, that particular act was definitely racist.’

‘And the fact that that was her recourse at that moment – granted, it was a stressful situation, a sudden situation – you know, maybe a moment of spectacularly poor judgment. But she went there and had this racist act that she did.’

Earlier Tuesday, Amy Cooper told the network she wanted to ‘publicly apologize’ to everyone for her actions, insisted she didn’t mean any harm to Christian or the African-American community.

‘I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way,’ she told the network. ‘I think I was just scared. When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.’

Cooper said that since the video sparked widespread outrage online, her ‘entire life is being destroyed right now’.

Christian Cooper, whose video of a white investment banker calling the police on him over the Memorial Day weekend went viral on Monday, has urged people to stop sending the woman death threats

Christian Cooper, whose video of a white investment banker calling the police on him over the Memorial Day weekend went viral on Monday, has urged people to stop sending the woman death threats

Earlier Tuesday, Amy Cooper told the network she wanted to ‘publicly apologize’ to everyone for her actions, insisted she didn’t mean any harm to Christian or the African-American community

Earlier Tuesday, Amy Cooper told the network she wanted to ‘publicly apologize’ to everyone for her actions, insisted she didn’t mean any harm to Christian or the African-American community

In the hours that followed, Cooper was branded as a racist ‘pure and simple’ by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio in a scathing tweet. The admonishment was followed by a tweet from her employer, investment firm Franklin Templeton, who announced she had been fired as head of insurance solutions with immediate effect, following the conclusion of an internal investigation.

‘I think her apology is sincere,’ Christian told CNN on Tuesday night. ‘I'm not sure that in that apology she recognizes that while she may not be or consider herself a racist, that particular act was definitely racist

‘I think her apology is sincere,’ Christian told CNN on Tuesday night. ‘I’m not sure that in that apology she recognizes that while she may not be or consider herself a racist, that particular act was definitely racist

‘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,’ the company’s statement read.

While the NYPD say they’ll not be pursuing charges against Cooper, the New York City Commission on Human Rights has announced that it is launching its own investigation into the matter.

State lawmakers have also introduced new legislation that would make falsely reporting an incident as a hate crime – as many have accused Cooper of – illegal, should it pass.

When asked if he believed Cooper was a racist, Christian told CNN: ‘I can’t answer that. Only she can answer that. And I would submit probably the only way she’s going to answer that is going forward. How she conducts herself and, you know, how she chooses to reflect on this situation and examine it.’

Speaking to NPR, Christian elaborated: ‘Now, should she be defined by that, you know, couple-of-seconds moment? I can’t answer that. I think that’s really up to her and what she does going forward.’

Christian said he’s been stunned by the amount of attention the video has received in the last 24 hours. He had been hoping to appear on CNN alongside Cooper to help bring a close to something that has ‘snowballed quite significantly’, though she didn’t respond to the network’s invitation.

The 57-year-old said he’s sure Cooper has been inundated with messages, just as he has, but he urged anyone from reaching out to remain civil and be careful with their words.

‘I am told there has been death threats and that is wholly inappropriate and abhorrent and should stop immediately,’ he said.

‘I find it strange that people who were upset that … that she tried to bring death by cop down on my head, would then turn around and try to put death threats on her head. Where is the logic in that?’ he said. ‘Where does that make any kind of sense?’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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