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The ‘Central Park Karen’ who lied to police that an innocent gay Black man was threatening her says ‘her life is being destroyed’

Emma Powys Maurice May 27, 2020
Amy Cooper: White woman calls cops on innocent Black man in New York

Amy Cooper made a false call to 911 claiming that a black man was attacking her (Twitter/Melody Cooper)

“Central Park Karen” Amy Cooper says her life has been “destroyed” as she is forced to face consequences for falsely claiming an innocent gay Black man was threatening her.

A video of Cooper confronting Black birdwatcher Christian Cooper (no relation) in a protected nature reserve of Central Park went viral earlier this week.

After refusing his polite request to put a leash on her dog, she proceeded to make a hysterical 911 call claiming that “an African-American man is threatening my life”.

The video was shared millions of times and the backlash was swift.

The internet promptly identified the woman as Amy Cooper, a prominent investment banker with Franklin Templeton, and within 48 hours she’d lost her job, her dog, and her reputation.

“Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately,” Amy Cooper’s employers wrote on Twitter. “We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton.”

Amy Cooper says her life is ruined, faces ban from Central Park.

She’s also facing a potential lifetime ban from Central Park after the park’s Civic Association called her actions “a disgusting display of intolerance” that should “never, ever be accepted in the City’s public domain”.

Amy Cooper now tells CNN that she wanted to “publicly apologise to everyone”, while insisting that what she did does not amount to racism.

“I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way,” she said, adding that “[My] entire life is being destroyed right now.”

Central Park woman says she’s not racist, was ‘just scared’ of a Black man.

“I think I was just scared,” said Amy Cooper. “When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.”

When asked if he’d accept her apology, Christian Cooper said: “If it’s genuine and if she plans on keeping her dog on a leash in the Ramble going forward, then we have no issues with each other.”

According to the National Audubon Society, the leading bird conservation organisation in the US, the incident has highlighted the “unwarranted suspicion, confrontation, and violence” that African Americans face daily in outdoor spaces.

Christian Cooper has previously spoken with the society’s magazine, Audubon, about the barriers he faces in birding.

“I’m black, gay, and non-Christian,” he said. “I have all these friends who talk about great birding spots in Texas, and I say, ‘Well, I’m not going there!'”

“[Birding is] definitely dominated by white men,” added John Rowden, director of community conservation at Audubon. “It’s a little bit shocking to me that we don’t have better representation.”

More: Amy Cooper, Birdwatching, Central Park, Christian Cooper

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