Recently, a video surfaced online of a white lady in Central Park named Amy Cooper calling the cops on an innocent and harmless black man, who simply asked her to put a leash on her dog.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” Cooper can be heard saying.
Now, in an interview with #TheView, #ChristianCooper, and his sister, who uploaded the shocking video, speak out on the incident.
Christian, who was birdwatching when the incident occurred, explained that the Ramble, is a protected area at Central Park, and dogs are required to be kept on leashes there no matter what.
“I’m walking through the park, and this dog is tearing through the planting,” Christian explained. “I say to the woman ‘Excuse me mam, but dogs in the Ramble have to be on the leash at all times.’
Amy responded but informing him that the area for dogs were closed and that her dog needed to exercise.
Christian then suggested another area of Central Park where dogs could roam freely; however, Amy felt that option was unsafe.
Christian explained that himself and other community members have been advocating for stricter rules regarding the policy to require dogs to wear a leash due to the lack of honor for the rule. When Christian said he was going to document the incident, things went downhill.
“She didn’t like that. She didn’t want to be reported,” he continued. “I was pretty adamant that as long as the dog was off the leash, I was going to keep recording.”
That’s when Amy lost it and threatened to call the cops and lie on Christian.
After deciding how he wanted to react to the situation, Christian decided to be the bigger person.
“I’m not going to participate in my own dehumanization. I’m going to just keep doing what I’m doing,” he added.
Christian’s sister Melodie, who is responsible for uploading the video to social media, said she was shocked by the situation
“I’m fairly political on Twitter, but when I saw my brother’s video, it was personal,” Melodie said. “I just imagined what happened to Mike Brown, or George Floyd happening to him, and I wanted to make sure no other black person would have to go through that weaponization of racism. … For me, it’s important that there’s a discussion about this now, and it did shine a light on what I wanted to have happen in the first place. This kind of racism can kill people. It could of killed my brother.”
What Amy didn’t know was that Christian was a Harvard graduate, Biomedical editor, and a former editor at Marvel Comics, according to The Washington Post.
Christian’s lengthy and impressive resume is causing some to believe that’s the only reason his situation went viral. Melodie came to his defense to deny those claims.
“Every black life is important and is valuable,” Melodie said. “But if the cops showed up, they wouldn’t have seen his resume, or known his job if they put him in a choke-hold or shot him.”
Christian also spoke out about Amy receiving death threats, which he completely disagrees with and compared it to her calling the cops on him, who could have potentially killed him, saying that neither are justifiable.
As far as her losing her job and getting her dog taken away from her, while he didn’t excuse her actions, Christian said she had “a moment of very poor judgement.”
“I’m uncomfortable with defining someone by a couple of seconds of what they’ve done,” he continued. “No excusing that it was a racist act, because it was a racist act, but does that define her entire life.”
One of the hosts then read Christian, Amy’s apology asking if he forgave her, which he did.
“I do accept her apology,” he said. “It’s a first step. I think she’s got to do some reflection on what happened. Up until the moment when she made that statement and made that phone call, it was just a conflict between a birder and a dog walker. Then she took it to a very dark place. I think she’s got to sort of examine how and why that happened. I want to move a little bit beyond her, because it’s not really about her and her poor judgement in a snap-second. It’s about the underlying current of racism and racial perceptions that has been going on for centuries.”