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Woman who called police on black birdwatcher in Central Park is sacked
26 May 2020, 10:07
A US woman has been sacked from her job after accusing a black man of "threatening her life" when he asked her to put her dog on a lead in New York's Central Park.
Amy Cooper, 41, has apologised after bird-watcher Christian Cooper, 57, filmed her calling the police on him after he asked her to put her dog on a lead.
The clip, which was posted on Twitter by Mr Cooper's sister, writer Melody Cooper, has been watched over 11 million times.
According to reports in the United States dog owner Ms Cooper was initially placed on administrative leave by the investment firm where she works, and it has now emerged that they have sacked her.
The company said: "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."
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
Melody posted the clip online, writing: "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."
After the story went viral, the she posted: "My brother & I are so grateful for your concern!
"He is fine and left to continue birding after she leashed the dog, as he politely requested.
"I wanted folks to know what happened to make sure it never happens again from her. All she had to do was put her poor dog on the leash.
She apologised for her actions in a statement to NBC New York, writing: "I sincerely and humbly apologise to everyone, especially to that man, his family.
"It was unacceptable and I humbly and fully apologise 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.
"When I think about the police, I’m such a blessed person. I’ve come to realise especially today that I think of [the police] as a protection agency, and unfortunately, this has caused me to realise that there are so many people in this country that don’t have that luxury."
Ms Cooper has also returned her dog Henry to a rescue centre.