Update (May 26, 2020): Amy Cooper has been fired from her job following an internal review of her altercation with a Black man who she falsely accused of threatening her.
Her former employer, Franklin Templeton, released a statement on Tuesday saying she had been terminated "effective immediately."
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.
— Franklin Templeton (@FTI_US) May 26, 2020
"Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park [Monday], we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately," the company posted on its Twitter account. "We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton."
Original (May 26, 2020): A white woman has been placed on administrative leave from her job after falsely accusing a Black man of “threatening her life” on Memorial Day in Central Park.
According to NBC New York, the incident occurred when a man, identified as Christian Cooper, asked a woman, Amy Cooper (no relation to the victim), to leash her dog while it was playing at the park over this weekend. After Christian asked her to put her dog on a leash, which she refused to do, he offered a treat to the woman’s dog.
"The only way they can keep the dog from eating the treat is to put it on a leash," Christian said. "At some point, she decided I’m gonna play the race card, I guess."
In the recorded clip, the woman is heard asking him not to take video of her and the dog. But he records anyway, and she then threatened him with a false report of the account to the police.
"I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life," she told Christian as she pulled out her phone.
Christian encourages her to call the police.
“There’s a man, an African American, he’s recording and threatening me and my dog,” the woman said. “There is an African American man in Central Park. He is recording me and threatening myself and my dog.”
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
During the call to the police, it's clear the woman intends to present herself as being in increasing danger as she performs fear on the phone call. All the while, the man continues to keep his distance from the woman and her pet.
“I am being threatened by a man in the Bramble!” she yelled. “Please send the cops immediately!
The New York Post reports the woman has been placed on administrative leave from her job at Franklin Templeton, an investment company, as police investigate the case. Her social media identified her as the head of insurance investment solutions at the company, per the Post.
In response to an incident involving an employee on May 25th, Franklin Templeton issued the following statement. pic.twitter.com/8f2lMwK0r5
— Franklin Templeton (@FTI_US) May 26, 2020
Amy said in a phone interview with NBC New York that she regrets the incident and is sorry for her “unacceptable” behavior.
“I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man, his family,” she said. “It was unacceptable and I humbly and fully apologize to everyone who’s seen that video, everyone that’s been offended … everyone who thinks of me in a lower light and I understand why they do.”
Despite her threats, Christian said he wasn’t going to be intimidated or bullied for trying to protect the environment.
"We live in an age of Ahmaud Arbery where Black men are gunned down because of assumptions people make about Black men, Black people, and I’m just not going to participate in that," he said.
Amy was dragged on social media for her blatant lie and racism.
— ???? (@Boog_3005) May 26, 2020
She told CNN that she's not a bigot.
"I'm not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way," Amy said.
She also received rebuke for animal cruelty because she appeared to be choking her dog for almost a minute in the video as she yelled at Christian.
Making a false police report is a crime. I prayerfully assume choking your dog is a crime in all states. #AmyCooper and others like her, that try to use the cops as a weapons, should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Disgraceful.
— Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta ???????????????? (@malcolmkenyatta) May 26, 2020
Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue said Amy adopted the dog a few years ago and has surrendered it while the issue is being investigated.
Christian is a Harvard University graduate and senior biomedical editor at Health Science Communications.
He previously wrote and edited for Marvel according to his LinkedIn.