By Tom Hays and Ryan Kryska
The verbal dispute between a White woman with an unleashed dog and a Black man bird watching in Central Park might normally have gone unnoticed in a city preoccupied by the coronavirus pandemic.
That changed when birdwatcher Christian Cooper pulled out his phone and captured Amy Cooper calling police to report she was being threatened by “an African-American man.”
The widely watched video, posted on Facebook by Christian Cooper and on Twitter by his sister, sparked accusations of racism and led to Amy Cooper getting fired.
The confrontation began early in the morning on May 25 when Christian Cooper said he noticed Amy Cooper had let her cocker spaniel off its leash against the rules in the Ramble, a secluded section of Central Park popular with birdwatchers.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” Amy Cooper is heard saying in the video as she pulls down her face mask and struggles to control her dog.