Christian Cooper, the Black man who recorded a white woman calling the police on him in New York’s Central Park after he asked her to leash her dog, has contributed a story relating to his experience in a new graphic novel that represents the marginalized.
Cooper, who had once been a comic book editor and writer, wrote the first chapter of the digital publication called “Represent!” whose first chapter was released for free online on Wednesday, according to DC Comics.
The chapter, entitled “It’s A Bird!” tells the story of a Black teenager who uses special birdwatching binoculars to tell the stories of three people who were killed by police: George Floyd, on May 25; Breonna Taylor on March 13; and Amadou Diallo in 1999.
“I hope as many people as possible read it, but I’m hoping in particular that young people read it,” said Cooper. “I think a lot of them may not know some of these stories, particularly as we got into detail in the appendix. We not only give the bare bones details of how they died, but also a little bit about them, because they were people. They weren’t just [what] happened to them.”
Cooper, a birdwatcher and a science writer and editor, encountered Amy Cooper (no relation) on May 25 -- the same day Floyd was killed -- in the park when he noticed she was walking her dog in an area designated for birdwatching. Instead of complying, she began to argue with him, then proceeded to call police on him, apparently using his racial identity against him.
Realizing what was happening, Cooper began to record the incident on his cellphone. When he showed the footage to his sister, she placed it on social media and it went viral. Amy Cooper subsequently lost her job behind the incident and later apologized. She was charged with filing a false police report and is expected to be arraigned in October, according to The New York Times.
Cooper later expressed forgiveness for the woman and even blasted death threats being made against her.
Of the graphic novel, he said he wants to keep the focus on the moment in which so many people are being killed as a result of racial profiling and police abuse.
“There are people who are invested in distracting us right now, and there are people who want to distract us from their failures on so many other things,” said Cooper. “That's not what this moment is about. This moment is about the ones we've lost, and how we're going to keep from losing any more. And if you're not talking about that, I don't want to hear it." The other chapters of “Represent!” are expected to be released in 2021 according to DC Comics.
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