Christian Cooper NYC birdwatcher says he can’t see how firing Amy Cooper Franklin Templeton VP addresses the underlying racial issues fracturing America.
The black birdwatcher targeted by a white woman who called the cops on him after asking her to put a leash on her dog in NYC’s Central Park, says he can’t see how her firing ‘addresses the underlying racial issues’.
Amy Cooper, 41, aka ‘Central Park Karen’ was terminated from her job as head of insurance investment solutions at Franklin Templeton on Tuesday, having been placed on administrative leave a day earlier. But Christian Cooper, 57, who filmed her telling cops there’s ‘an African American man threatening my life’, said it doesn’t solve a wider issue of what’s going on in New York and the United States as a whole.
‘I’m not sure how I feel about that,’ Christian told the New York Daily News on Tuesday. ‘I can’t see how that addresses the underlying issues. I think it’s important to move beyond this instance and this one individual.
‘Too much focus has been put on her when it really is about the underlying issues that have plagued this city and this country for centuries. Racial issues.’
Amy was earning up to an estimated $170,000 per-year until the company came to the decision following an internal investigation into footage of her hysterically dialing 911 on former Marvel Comics editor on Monday.
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
‘Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately,’ the company said in a tweeted statement. ‘We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton.’
But Amy insisted she isn’t racist and was just scared.
Christian felt he couldn’t judge whether she truly is racist but suggested the action she took on Monday was a sure sign of using her white privilege and possibly racism.
‘Where she went was a racist place. That action was racist. Does that make her a racist? I can’t answer that. Only she can with what she does going forward,’ Christian told the dailynews.
‘Maybe she was trying to gain an advantage. She went there, and she needs to reflect on what she did.’
At the end of the confrontation, Amy attached her dog to a leash and both of them left the scene. But social media users were outraged at what could have happened if police had shown up while they were still there, noting the many cases of police brutality against African Americans.
Christian said: ‘I don’t think she was thinking in that moment.’
Central Park Karen subject of death threats
He also said threats from angry social media users were not helping the fight to change the criminal justice system.
‘I’m very upset she’s getting death threats. That’s antithetical to the appropriate response,’ Christian said.
‘If you’re upset that she put my life in danger by trying to bring the cops down on a black man, then how can you turn around and make a death threat? That makes no sense. It’s downright awful.’
Before her termination was announced, Amy told CNN she wanted to ‘publicly apologize to everyone’, and insisted she isn’t a racist and didn’t intend to inflict any harm on the African-American community.
‘I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way,’ she told the network. ‘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.’
Cooper says that now the video has sparked widespread outrage online, her ‘entire life is being destroyed right now’.
Dehumanization of African Americans
The incident has since been cited as yet another example of white people calling the police on African Americans for unnecessary reasons, in acts many interpret to be fueled by racial prejudice.
‘I videotaped it because I thought it was important to document things,’ Cooper, a Harvard graduate, later explained to NBC New York.
‘We live in an age of Ahmaud Arbery where black men are gunned down because of assumptions people make about black men, black people, and I’m just not going to participate in that,’ he continued. ‘I’m not going to participate in my own dehumanization.’
When asked if he would accept Cooper’s apology, Christian, a senior biomedical editor at Health Science Communications, said ‘if it’s genuine and if she plans on keeping her dog on a leash in the Ramble going forward, then we have no issues with each other.’
Cooper has since conceded to CNN that she knew walking her dog unleashed in The Ramble was against the rules.
Amy Cooper, a native of Canada, according to her since removed Linkden profle studied at the University of Waterloo in Ontario from 1998 to 2003, graduating with a degree in actuarial science. She then completed her master’s in business administration in analytical finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2009.
She started working at Franklin Templeton in 2015, and has previously worked at AIG, Citi, Lehman Brothers and Willis Towers Watson.