The New York City woman who was caught on a video on Monday (May 25) calling the police on an African-American man who simply asked her to leash her dog has now issued an apology after going viral.
The woman, identified as Amy Cooper by social media sleuths, has also reportedly been placed on administrative leave by her employer after investment firm Franklin Templeton’s social media platforms were flooded with calls for her dismissal.
Cooper has also reportedly surrendered the dog she can be seen choking in the video to the animal rescue where she got it.
"I'm not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way," Amy Cooper told CNN.
In a phone interview with NBC New York she expanded her apology.
"I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man, his family," she said. "It was unacceptable and I humbly and fully apologize 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."
Amy Cooper reportedly works as a vice-president of Investment Solutions at Franklin Templeton, but the company tweeted that due to the incident, she has been placed on administrative leave.
Cooper was also criticized for abusing her dog because she could be seen gripping its collar almost to a point of choking it while calling police.
Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue said in a statement posted to Facebook that Amy Cooper has given up the animal, having "voluntarily surrendered the dog in question to our rescue while this matter is being addressed. The dog is now in our rescue's care and he is safe and in good health."
The video posted to Twitter on Monday (May 15) shows Christian Cooper, a Black man and birdwatcher who was in an area of New York’s Central Park, asking Amy Cooper to leash her dog in accordance with park rules. The two begin to argue over the necessity for her to leash the dog and she threatens to call the police, saying: "I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life."
She then does just that and becomes hysterical while on the phone with police, meanwhile Cooper continues to record the incident, remaining calm through the entire experience.
"I videotaped it because I thought it was important to document things," Christian Cooper told CNN. He noted that the area is a sanctuary for bird watching and that an unleashed dog could destroy the habitat, which is why he asked the woman to leash the animal.
"Unfortunately we live in an era with things like Ahmaud Arbery, where Black men are seen as targets. This woman thought she could exploit that to her advantage, and I wasn't having it."
In her apology, Amy Cooper tried to address concerns raised by many on social media that her actions could have resulted in a dangerous situation for Christian Cooper.
"When I think about the police,” Amy Cooper began, “I’m such a blessed person. I’ve come to realize especially today that I think of [the police] as a protection agency, and unfortunately, this has caused me to realize that there are so many people in this country that don’t have that luxury."
An NYPD spokesperson told CNN that neither of the individuals were present when police arrived. No arrests or summonses were given out.
But Christian Cooper said that he would accept her apology. "if it's genuine and if she plans on keeping her dog on a leash in the Ramble going forward, then we have no issues with each other."