- A woman who was caught on video calling the police and claiming there was an “African-American man threatening her life” has apologised said her actions were “unacceptable.”
- Melody Cooper, a science-fiction and horror screenwriter, posted a video of the incident to Twitter on Monday. As of Monday evening, the footage has been viewed over 14 million times.
- Twitter lit up in response to the video, with many users criticising the woman for using the man’s race to falsely report an assault to police.
- In an interview with NBC News, the woman said she “humbly and fully apologizes to everyone who’s seen that video.”
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A woman who was caught on video calling the police and claiming there was an “African-American man threatening her life” has apologised said her actions were “unacceptable.”
The video, which has been viewed over 14 million times, was posted to Twitter by screenwriter Melody Cooper on Monday. She said her brother recorded the video after politely asking the woman to “put her dog on the leash” in a protected area of central park.
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
“I’m going to tell them that there is an African-American man threatening my life,” the woman in the video says before calling the police.
Sergeant Mary Frances O’Donnell, a spokesperson for the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information at the New York Police Department, told Insider that police were called to the Central Park Ramble over a reported assault, but no arrests were made and no summons were issued.
In an interview with NBC New York on Monday, Amy Cooper said she “humbly and fully apologizes to everyone who’s seen that video.”
“I sincerely and humbly apologise to everyone, especially to that man, his family,” she told the outlet. “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.”
According to NBC New York, Cooper said she “overreacted” and said that the man in the video, identified as Christian Cooper, had offered her dog a treat, which made her feel “threatened.”
“When I think about the police, I’m such a blessed person,” she said. “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.”
According to NBC News, Cooper has been placed on administrative leave by Franklin Templeton, an investment management company, in response to the incident.
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
NBC News said that Cooper has “voluntarily surrendered” her dog to a rescue shelter while the incident is being investigated.
Christian Cooper told the outlet that he refused to be intimidated by the woman’s actions, which is why he kept recording.
“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 told NBC News.