Updated: Jul 15
By Rachelle Barrett
Updated 5:07 PM ET, Wed May 27, 2020
NEW YORK (CENTRAL PARK) –– What could’ve been a tragedy struck New York author Christian Cooper as he was bird watching in Central Park this past Memorial Day. Amy Cooper, a New York resident, was seen walking her dog in the park without a leash. Christian, aware that all dogs must wear a leash in the park, informed Amy of the rule; the situation leading down an unexpected path for Christian.
Image by bbc.com from Christian Cooper's
In a video by Christian, (a video many viewers said was a great representation of a normal situation turned deadly in just seconds for African-Americans and Blacks everywhere), it is shown the lengths ‘Karens and Kevins’ will go to for minimal, non-misdemeanor events such as this one, and their attempts to harm the cameraman/woman by using their privilege that is protective services a.k.a. the police.
The video shows Amy marching over as Christian asks her not to come any closer to him, and an assured threat to call the police by Amy following the very short interaction they had. All this while dragging and lifting her cocker spaniel by the collar.
“I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life,” Amy said.
Christian visibly standing ground at a distance, she proceeds to frantically make the call while in hysterics claiming he’s attempting to act violently toward her and her dog. The claimed behavior unable to be seen in the video.
Within just a few hours of the incident, an incident the black community defined as “murder for hire”, Christian’s video went viral on most social media platforms, Amy’s identity, workplace, and workplace contact information were leaked online, and Amy surrendered her dog to the Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, Inc., due to the outcry against the animal cruelty that was her dragging and lifting her dog on the grass, sometimes the dog’s feet inches off the ground.
Franklin Templeton Investments, the investment firm where Amy Cooper held the position as the Vice President, also released a statement regarding her recent fame.
“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.”
This after the company’s announcement that Amy Cooper was put on administrative leave the day before.
Image by Franklin Templeton Twitter page
Why The Call Was a Big Deal
In the opinionated section of this blog I will describe the reasons why I believe this incident led to more than just a 911 call that lead to no further investigation by the police.
Many believe that since both Christian and Amy were not at the scene when the police arrived, with no official report filed and no arrests, that there is nothing to be said on the situation. Just ‘beef’ between two New Yorkers.
On the contrary.
The results of the call, where thankfully nobody was hurt, wasn’t the reason for the major backlash by the black community, it was the deadly potentiality that the situation held; the unsavory and almost undoubtedly devastating outcome that could’ve easily met Christian as it has to hundreds of African American men prior. The threat had weight and Amy acted recklessly towards Christian’s livelihood in that situation over a dog leash, which is ridiculous.
People lack clarity in decision-making when upset and scared, and Amy proved just that through her actions in the video. Amy was so hasty in her attempts to pin Christian for a crime he hasn’t committed, she couldn’t even take two seconds to clip her dog’s leash on, as to not drag her dog as she paces back and forth yelling in the phone. This also shows me that if she couldn’t think clear enough to not harm her dog in the process, than her apology stating she was not attempting to harm Christian in any way was a lie. Because there was no way she had the clarity to care for Christian’s well-being, as she was abusing her dog and calling the police on a black man in America for a situation that never should have merited law enforcement. There is many instances of illogical reasoning made by Amy in a minute long video.
Amy stated: “When I think about the police, I’m such a blessed person. I’ve come to realize especially today that I think of [the police] as a protective agency, and unfortunately, this has caused me to realize that there are so many people in this country that don’t have that luxury.”
However, the black community was quick to call her out, saying she made sure to tell the police on the phone, multiple times, that an African American man was harassing her. She used his race as a means to harm him and so she knew exactly what she was doing. And how would an individual not know of the vast repetitions of police brutality and prejudices towards blacks in America? These incidents go back hundreds of years.
This also contradicts her statement that she did not mean to harm Christian.
If Amy truly did not mean to attempt to harm Christian in any way through her actions as stated in one of her apologies, this means we could at least assume she would know not to involve the police in a situation so little because she is aware of the African American police disadvantage black people are granted at birth in America. She wouldn’t involve the police because she is aware of the two unlawful deaths committed just two months ago where the people responsible barely met any repercussions if any until much later. She wouldn’t involve the police because she is aware of the innocent, black men, women, and even children slain in non-violent situations such as mistakenly perceiving a kid as a thief (Trayvon Martin), mistakenly raiding the wrong house (Breonna Taylor), mistakenly assuming a house invasion (Botham Jean), and many more instances unfortunately. However, she also just now realizes the luxury she has contrary to her melanated counterpart? Because of the incident she was involved in? The police in Amy’s situation could’ve easily ‘mistakenly’ shot Christian. They could’ve shot first, asked questions later. Amy abused her power and advantage in the police just to file a false report, or attempt to, and her claims that she is now enlightened despite repeated incidents like hers in the news and all over social media, with the formation of The Black Panther Movement and the Black Lives Matter [Too] over years to come, shows that she either never really payed attention to the rights of her fellow citizens because she isn’t black, so why should she, or that it simply isn’t true, and as claimed by the black community, she knew exactly what she was doing.
Many are saying Amy Cooper weaponized the police. Even if she truly had no intentions in doing so, she did so recklessly. I would say the fact that his fate caused by her actions never crossed her mind is what makes her weaponizing the police in that situation even worse.
So to all the people who say the actions of the black community went too far, that her life was ruined because of a video, just know that Christian’s life could’ve been ruined, (taken away) because of a leash.
Thank you Black America.