A white woman who was seen in a viral video calling the police and falsely accusing a black birdwatcher of threatening her in New York’s Central Park was fired by her employer on Tuesday.
Investment firm Franklin Templeton fired Amy Cooper effective immediately following an internal review of the Monday confrontation, which has since been viewed online nearly 30 million times.
“We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton,” the firm wrote 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.
— Franklin Templeton (@FTI_US) May 26, 2020
Cooper was previously put on administrative leave by the company.
She apologized on Monday night, calling her behavior “unacceptable.”
“I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man and his family,” she said in an interview with WNBC.
Christian Cooper — who is not related to Amy Cooper — filmed the incident in the Ramble area of Central Park on Memorial Day.
An avid birdwatcher, Christian Cooper told The Washington Post that he asked Amy Cooper to put her dog on a leash, which is required in the area.
Christian Cooper said he tried to toss a dog treat to the pooch when she refused and began recording the altercation as Amy Cooper said she would call the police.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she can be heard saying in the video.
“Please tell them whatever you’d like,” he responded.
Amy Cooper appears to call 911 and becomes more frantic, despite Christian Cooper being several feet away and not moving any closer to her.
“He is recording me and threatening myself and my dog,” she says while holding onto her dog’s collar.
The 2-year-old dog, named Henry, yelps and struggles while she is on the phone.
Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Bramble in NY’s Central Park, where it is clearly posted on signs that dogs MUST be leashed at all times, and someone like my brother (an avid birder) politely asks her to put her dog on the leash. pic.twitter.com/3YnzuATsDm
— Melody Cooper (@melodyMcooper) May 25, 2020
The interaction went viral, as thousands of social media users called for Amy Cooper to face charges for filing a false police report.
In a statement to CNN, Amy Cooper insisted that she did not mean to harm the African American community.
“I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way,” she said, adding that she was scared because she was alone in a wooded area.
Since the video was posted, she told CNN that her “entire life is being destroyed right now.”
The animal shelter where Amy Cooper had adopted the pup said that she voluntarily surrendered the dog back to the rescue while the matter is being addressed.
Despite the physical actions of the dog’s owner in the video, Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue Inc. said in a statement that Henry is “safe and in good health.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) weighed in on the video, describing the incident as “racism, plain and simple.”
The video out of Central Park is 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. https://t.co/6PP7jIwL1g
— Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioWoman apologizes after video goes viral of her calling police on black birdwatcher in Central Park De Blasio: 2 million people in New York City face food insecurity amid pandemic Trump calls study on taking earlier action against coronavirus a ‘political hit job’ MORE (@NYCMayor) May 26, 2020
Christian Cooper, however, told the Post that he was not interested her facing “repercussions.”
“It’s unfortunate what happened,” he told the outlet. “There was definitely a lapse in judgment. But she put the dog on the leash, and I don’t need to see anything else happen to her.”