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Woman who threatened to call police on black birdwatcher in New York's Central Park loses job

A clip posted on Twitter showing the incident has been viewed millions of times.

Amy Cooper was filmed by the man who said he had asked the woman to leash her dog
Amy Cooper was filmed by the man who said he had asked the woman to leash her dog
Image: Twitter

A WHITE WOMAN who was recorded calling the police about an African-American birdwatcher in New York’s Central Park has lost her job after the video of the incident went viral yesterday.

The clip, posted on Twitter and viewed millions of times, was filmed by the man, Christian Cooper, who said he had asked the woman to leash her dog.

She was walking the dog on Monday in a wooded area of the park popular with birdwatchers where dogs are meant to be kept on leads.

In the video, the woman struggles to control the dog and approaches Cooper, before being seen making a phone call.

“I’m going to tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life,” she tells Cooper while appearing to call the police.

“There is an African-American man, I’m in Central Park. He’s recording me and threatening me and threatening my dog,” she then tells the operator.

The exchange prompted outrage on social media, while New York City mayor Bill de Blasio condemned her actions as “racism, plain and simple”.

“She called the police because he was a Black man. Even though she was the one breaking the rules. She decided he was the criminal and we know why. This kind of hatred has no place in our city,” he tweeted.

The woman was identified as Amy Cooper, no relation to the man she argued with. She had worked in insurance at investment management company Franklin Templeton.

She apologised during an interview with NBC but denied that she was racist, saying she had overreacted after feeling threatened.

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“I sincerely and humbly apologise to everyone, especially to that man, his family,” she said.

In a statement posted on Twitter Tuesday, Franklin Templeton said it had fired an employee with immediate effect following an investigation.

“We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton,” the company said.

On Facebook, Christian Cooper said he had offered the dog a treat after the woman refused his request to leash the dog.

- © AFP 2020

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