A white woman who was seen in a viral video calling the cops and falsely accusing a black birdwatcher of “threatening” her life in New York’s Central Park was fired by her employer on Tuesday.
Investment firm Franklin Templeton fired Amy Cooper effective immediately following an “internal review of the incident,” the firm wrote on Twitter.
“Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately,” the statement read. “We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton.”
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
Cooper was previously put on administrative leave by the company late Monday night.
She apologized on Monday night, calling her behavior “unacceptable.”
“I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man and his family,” she said in an interview with WNBC.
Christian Cooper, an avid birdwatcher, told The Washington Post that he asked Amy Cooper — who is not related to him — to put her dog on a leash, which is required in the area.
Christian Cooper said he tried to toss a dog treat to the dog when she refused and began recording the altercation as Amy Cooper said she would call the police and began playing “the race card,”
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she can be heard saying in the video.
“Please tell them whatever you’d like,” he responded.
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
Amy Cooper appears to call 911 and becomes more frantic, despite Christian Cooper being several feet away and not posing a threat.
“He is recording me and threatening myself and my dog,” she says while holding onto her dog’s collar.
“I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way,” Amy Cooper insisted in a statement to CNN. Since the video was posted, she told CNN that her “entire life is being destroyed right now.”
The animal shelter where Amy Cooper had adopted the pup said that she voluntarily surrendered the dog back to the rescue while the matter is being addressed.
Out Magazine notes that aside from being an avid birdwatcher, Cooper “also happens to be a trailblazing queer comic writer. As a former editor for Marvel, he is known as a pioneer in the comic world for creating the character Yoshi Mishima, the first gay male character in a Star Trek comic and the first gay human ever within the Star Trek universe. With Yoshi, Cooper explored themes of discrimination, obviously something he’s no stranger to in his own life. He also has written stories for Ghost Rider and Vengeance comics.”