Eddie Mair 4pm - 6pm
Woman sacked after viral video of her calling police on black man
27 May 2020, 07:10 | Updated: 27 May 2020, 07:31
A woman who reported a black man to the police after he asked her to put her dog on a lead in New York's Central Park has been fired from her job and had her dog taken away.
A video of the woman went viral after she called police claiming she was being “threatened” by “an African American man” after a birdwatcher in New York‘s Central Park asked her to observe rules about keeping her dog on a lead has been fired by her employer.
Christian Cooper, a bird watcher, asked the woman to put her dog on a lead because he worried it could endanger wildlife.
Mr Cooper and the woman, identified as Amy Cooper (no relation) were in an area of New York's Central Park called the Ramble, a popular area for bird watchers where dogs must be leashed at all times, according to the rules.
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
Mr Cooper said their exchange began when he noticed Ms Cooper's dog "tearing through the plantings" in the area.
"Ma'am, dogs in the Ramble have to be on the leash at all times. The sign is right there," Mr Cooper said he told her, but she refused to restrain her dog.
When he began filming, Ms Cooper told him she would phone the police and tell them "there's an African-American man threatening my life".
She then called 911 and told the operator and repeated, "He's African-American", before pleading for them to send an officer.
A video filmed by Mr Cooper and posted on social media went viral on Monday, drawing tens of millions of views and prompting discussions about the high number of killings of black men by police in the US.
Franklin Templeton announced on Twitter on Tuesday it had sacked an employee, "effective immediately".
"We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton," the tweet said.