If you've been following the news in New York city as of late, you've heard the story of the Black birdwatcher who had a false 911 call made about him by a White women letting her dog run off leash in Central Park.
Christian Cooper, the birdwatcher, is now saying the backlash against Amy Cooper, the woman, has gone too far.
Christian Cooper went viral after Amy Cooper (unrelated) called the cops on him for asking her to put her dog on a leash instead of running loose in an area clearly marked leashed dogs only.
Amy Cooper could be seen and heard on video grabbing her dog and dragging it toward Christian Cooper while telling him to stop filming her. He asked her to not walk up to him. She then threatened to call the police and tell them an "African American man is threatening me."
Ms. Cooper later claimed—despite being seen on video walking toward Mr. Cooper and deliberately telling him she would tell the police an "African American man" was threatening her—that she was sorry but that her actions were justified because Mr. Cooper frightened her.
You can see one of her public apologies here:
White woman apologizes for calling the cops on black man www.youtube.com
People were not pleased that Ms. Cooper failed to recognize her own threatening and aggressive behavior as shown on the video and failed to issue a real apology.
But Mr. Cooper said that the recent surge of "death threats" against the woman are uncalled for.
She called police on him in Central Park. Hear his response www.youtube.com
Speaking to CNN's Don Lemon, Christian Cooper said:
"I am told there has been death threats and that is wholly inappropriate and abhorrent and should stop immediately."
"I find it strange that people who were upset that … that she tried to bring death by cop down on my head, would then turn around and try to put death threats on her head. Where is the logic in that? Where does that make any kind of sense?"
While people have spouted off on social media about Ms. Cooper, no legitimate death threats have been substantiated.
I want to go birding with Christian Cooper. https://t.co/zGEhgXL34l— Clint Smith (@Clint Smith)1590518424.0
@ClintSmithIII I've never until this moment been interested in birding but his enthusiasm for it in just this short… https://t.co/tELkt2gvK0— Rebekah (@Rebekah)1590518743.0
@ClintSmithIII And to think this man who appreciates “birding” could have been another Black man killed by cops tod… https://t.co/R0gu2Bke5b— Refined (@Refined)1590554449.0
@ClintSmithIII @adamcbest This is the gentleman that nutcase woman went into her felony rage about? For God's sake,… https://t.co/WTzZlfHs3e— Greg Mic🌊 (@Greg Mic🌊)1590525429.0
@ClintSmithIII #ChristianCooper makes bird 🐦 watching interesting. So glad this outcome turned out well for him and not for #AmyCooper— Shawn The Progressive Black Techie (@Shawn The Progressive Black Techie)1590518702.0
Amy Cooper was fired from her job at Franklin Templeton Investments and surrendered her dog to the rescue she adopted it from.
Pundits pointed out that Ms. Coopers apology tour consisted largely of attempts by Ms. Cooper to change the narrative where she—the aggressor who could have avoided everything by simply clipping the leash in her hand onto her dog—is instead the victim. The frequently seen behavior has been explored extensively in books like White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color and White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.
She apologized for her "meltdown" and has repeatedly stated she's "not a racist," but on that point Christian Cooper disagrees.
Mr. Cooper said:
"I think her apology is sincere."
"I'm not sure that in that apology she recognizes that while she may not be or consider herself a racist, that particular act was definitely racist."
Christian Cooper has read Amy Cooper’s apology. While back birding in Central Park on Wednesday morning, he called… https://t.co/tIHduenu7f— The New York Times (@The New York Times)1590605277.0
@nytimes If she had said there is a man making me feel uncomfortable. It would have probably gone away. However she… https://t.co/TMHxrQd3Fc— Brent Wheeler (@Brent Wheeler)1590620860.0
@nytimes Very charitable of you Mr. Cooper but people need to understand that their actions have consequences.— cecilia thibault (@cecilia thibault)1590607165.0
@nytimes @Yamiche If I was in his shoes, I don’t know if I could be as kind as Christian Cooper towards Amy Cooper.… https://t.co/PUxEQ570Nz— Jo-Ann (@Jo-Ann)1590606494.0
@nytimes @Yamiche An adult who is genuinely sorry would request a face-to-face meeting to apologize to the person t… https://t.co/l3FviHgbDy— BiCoastal Elitist (@BiCoastal Elitist)1590605946.0
The New York City Commission on Human Rights also launched an investigation into the incident.
Sapna Raj, deputy commissioner of the Law Enforcement Bureau at the Commission on Human Rights said:
"At a time when the devastating impacts of racism in Black communities have been made so painfully clear—from racial disparities in COVID-19 outcomes, to harassment of essential workers on the front lines—it is appalling to see these types of ugly threats directed at one New Yorker by another."
"Efforts to intimidate Black people by threatening to call law enforcement draw on a long, violent and painful history, and they are unacceptable. We encourage Ms. Cooper to cooperate with the Commission and meaningfully engage in a process to address the harm that she has caused."
@nytimes People like her w/an over-inflated sense of self-entitlement need to know that there are consequences to t… https://t.co/oHdEBmOs2F— Matt~WASH YOUR HANDS FOLKS~ (@Matt~WASH YOUR HANDS FOLKS~)1590609140.0
@nytimes She not only deserves to lose her job but prosecuted for the felony of falsifying a 911 call. Not sure y s… https://t.co/9pltbcS5on— Carl 🏳️🌈🌅 (@Carl 🏳️🌈🌅)1590606737.0
@nytimes Does her life need to be torn apart? Yes! Very much so. What do you think the end game of her actions woul… https://t.co/Efo0CiDshX— Dr. Akudo, PhD (@Dr. Akudo, PhD)1590607593.0
@nytimes Mr. Cooper is a better human than I am. I guess bc I'm the mother of a Black son who worried from the day… https://t.co/LENnEVrCmH— Peggy Davis (@Peggy Davis)1590615345.0
@nytimes He is clearly a kind man. What she did was based on some deep reservoir of fear & loathing & could have en… https://t.co/jYNDG76Wd5— ⚖️ Rosemary McLaughlin (@⚖️ Rosemary McLaughlin)1590606071.0
In addition to losing her job, if the commission on human rights finds her guilty of violating the law, they have the right to fine her and award damages to Christian Cooper.
Though Cooper has been forgiving, it seems the rest of the world hasn't reached his level yet.