Amy Cooper, the New York City dog walker whose actions sparked outrage in a viral video, has been fired from her job with an investment company, her employer confirmed on Twitter.
The termination came after Amy Cooper tried in vain to apologize for calling police on Christian Cooper, a Harvard-educated senior biomedical editor and former comic book editor who recorded the viral video. He says it all started when he asked Amy Cooper to leash her dog in Central Park. Instead, she referred to his race and called police on him, the video shows.
The video has now been viewed millions of times. Heavy has reached out to both Coopers (who are not related) for comment. Christian Cooper is black, and Amy Cooper is white. The video was recorded by Christian Cooper on Memorial Day 2020 in the Ramble section of Central Park.
Amy Cooper’s actions have sparked outrage online; some people on social media have dubbed Amy Cooper “Central Park Karen.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Amy Cooper Was Fired From Her Job After She Apologized & Insisted She Wasn’t a Racist
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
Amy Cooper tried in vain to do damage control after her company initially put her on administrative leave.
She worked as vice president of an investment firm (learn more about her background here.) She was on administrative leave while her company investigated the matter. The company, Templeton Franklin, has now terminated Amy Cooper, writing 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. We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton.”
In response to an incident involving an employee on May 25th, Franklin Templeton issued the following statement. pic.twitter.com/8f2lMwK0r5
— Franklin Templeton (@FTI_US) May 26, 2020
Meanwhile, Christian Cooper has given his side on social media.
“Once she put the dog on the leash, I birded my way out of the park as normal (I was done for the day and on my way out when I encountered Karen),” wrote Christian Cooper on his Facebook page. He added, “I’m fine… At this point, I’m getting used to this. Though the full-on racist slant was new.” Amy Cooper has now apologized, telling CNN, “I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way…I think I was just scared. When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.”
Franklin Templeton Investments is a multi-billion-dollar asset management firm.
In a statement, the company said, “We take these matters very seriously and we do not condone racism of any kind. While we are in the process of investigating the situation, the employee involved has been put on administrative leave.”
The dog is named Henry. “Thank you to the concerned public for reaching out to us about a video involving a dog that was adopted from our rescue a few years ago,” wrote Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue Inc. “As of this evening, the owner has voluntarily surrendered the dog in question to our rescue while this matter is being addressed. Our mission remains the health and safety of our rescued dogs. The dog is now in our rescue’s care and he is safe and in good health. We will not be responding to any further inquiries about the situation, either publicly or privately. Thank you for your understanding.”
According to her LinkedIn profile, Amy M. Cooper led “the insurance portfolio management and strategy business at Franklin Templeton. She has dedicated her career to delivering and executing investment solutions for insurance and pension companies globally. … She is a recognized industry leader in insurance accounting and regulatory issues, asset liability management and strategic asset allocation. She has worked in a variety of insurance focused roles.” She is a native of Canada.
Christian Cooper’s Video Shows Amy Cooper Referring to His Race
Christian Cooper explained on Facebook what he says happened leading up to the video’s start. Here’s what he wrote:
Central Park this morning: This woman’s dog is tearing through the plantings in the Ramble.
ME: Ma’am, dogs in the Ramble have to be on the leash at all times. The sign is right there.
HER: The dog runs are closed. He needs his exercise.
ME: All you have to do is take him to the other side of the drive, outside the Ramble, and you can let him run off leash all you want.
HER: It’s too dangerous.
ME: Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it.
HER: What’s that?
ME (to the dog): Come here, puppy!
HER: He won’t come to you.
ME: We’ll see about that…
I pull out the dog treats I carry for just for such intransigence. I didn’t even get a chance to toss any treats to the pooch before Karen scrambled to grab the dog.
HER: DON’T YOU TOUCH MY DOG!!!!!
That’s when I started video recording with my iPhone, and when her inner Karen fully emerged and took a dark turn…
The video starts with Amy Cooper holding her dog and Christian Cooper recording the scene. “Will you please stop. Sir, I’m asking you to stop,” she says, moving toward him.
“Please don’t come close to me,” Christian Cooper says.
“Sir, I’m asking you to stop recording me,” says Amy Cooper. She points her finger at him and says she’s going to call the cops.
“Please call the cops,” he says.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she says.
“Please tell them whatever you’d like,” Christian Cooper says.
She makes a call and says, “I’m sorry. I’m in the Ramble, and there is a man, African American… He’s recording me and threatening me and my dog. There is an African American man. I am in Central Park and he’s recording me and threatening myself and my dog.”
The dog tries to wriggle away as she grasps his collar. Amy Cooper raises her voice.
“I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble. Please send the cops immediately. I’m in Central Park in the Ramble, I don’t know,” she says with elevated voice.
Amy Cooper then manages to get the leash onto her dog’s collar.
“Thank you,” says Christian Cooper before ending the video.
The video doesn’t show Christian Cooper making any threats. Christian Cooper also wrote, “Imagine the police responded at some point, but once she put her dog on the leash, I went back to birding (which I was wrapping up and heading out anyway). We’ll see if there’s any blowback the next time I’m in the park, though I doubt it. If there is, I’ve got the video. … Also hopefully the police presence in the Ramble will increase (there is zero right now), and that will put further pressure on the irresponsible dog owners.”
ABC 7 New York’s Morena Basteiro tweeted that the NYPD had released these details: “Call came in for a dispute, inside of the Central Park’s Ramble, around 8 a.m. this morning. Officers arrived and neither party was on scene. Thus, no report was filed and no arrests were made. No one has come forward to police since.”