Woman asked to put dog on leash lies to police that ‘black man is threatening her life’
A white woman phoned police and claimed a black man was ‘threatening her life’ even though he didn’t appear to come near her.
The filmed incident showed the woman, later identified as Amy Cooper, warning the man “I’m going to tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life”.
Christian Cooper – who is unrelated – says he had urged the woman to leash her pet as she had entered The Ramble – a protected wildlife area in Central Park, New York.
A sign on the fence reads: “Dogs must be leashed at all times in The Ramble.”
Things escalated and Amy, wearing a face mask, appeared to phone the police and lied that she was being threatened.
At one point, while seemingly on the phone to a emergency call handler, she puts on a panic-stricken tone as if in imminent danger despite the man remaining several yards away.
Christian said: “At some point she decided ‘I’m going to play the race card’ I guess.”
Amy later told NBC New York her actions were “unacceptable” and said although she can’t undo what she did, she humbly apologises to everyone, especially Christian and his family.
She reportedly claimed he was screaming but says she regrets calling the police.
The incident was filmed on Monday at roughly 8am by Christian and was widely shared on social media.
The keen birdwatcher has since said the row escalated after he urged the woman to leash her pet.
Christian began filming her as she approached him.
“Please stop, sir I’m asking you to stop recording me,” she can be heard saying in a raised voice, before threatening to call 911.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life,” she adds.
“Please, tell them whatever you like,” the man responds and reiterates she must keep her distance.
Struggling to control her little dog as she holds its collar, Amy then apparently dials for the police.
“There’s a man, an African-American, he’s recording and threatening me and my dog,” she is heard saying.
“There is an African-American man in Central Park. He is recording me and threatening myself and my dog.”
She then pretends to be close to tears, as she pleads for help.
New York Police Department officers reportedly then rushed to the scene.
By the time they arrived, Christian had already left and they recorded the incident as a ‘verbal dispute’.
Amy has been placed on administrative leave from her job as head of insurance investment solutions at Franklin Templeton.
A statement by Franklin Templeton reads: “We take these matters very seriously, and we do not condone racism of any kind.
“While we are in the process of investigating the situation, the employee involved has been put on administrative leave.”