Christian Cooper wants others to show the type of grace to Amy Cooper that she didn’t want to give to him Monday morning in Central Park.
As documented in a now-famed viral video, the 41-year-old white woman called police on the 57-year-old Black birdwatcher after he asked her to put a leash on her dog in an area where such restraints are required.
On the call, Amy Cooper said “an African American man in Central Park ... is recording me and threatened myself and my dog.” She continued, “Please send a cop! Immediately!”
After the encounter went viral on social media, Amy Cooper voluntarily gave her dog back to the group she had adopted it from and then was fired from her job at Franklin Templeton, an asset management firm. Her employers said the company does not “tolerate racism of any kind.”
She also has been targeted with a barrage of criticism and attacks, including death threats.
Christian Cooper told CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday that he didn’t want to make a situation worse and said as offensive as the woman’s actions, people should remain civil.
“I am told there has been death threats and that is wholly inappropriate and abhorrent and should stop immediately,” he said. “I find it strange that people who were upset that ... that she tried to bring death by cop down on my head, would then turn around and try to put death threats on her head. Where is the logic in that?
Amy Cooper apologised to Christian Cooper in a public statement, saying she “reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions when, in fact, I was the one who was acting inappropriately by not having my dog on a leash.”
“I am well aware of the pain that misassumptions and insensitive statements about race cause and would never have imagined that I would be involved in the type of incident that occurred with Chris.”
Cooper, in his comments on CNN, said that though he viewed her actions as “definitely racist,” he did “think her apology is sincere.”
“I’m not sure that in that apology she recognises that while she may not be or consider herself a racist, that particular act was definitely racist.”
“And the fact that that was her recourse at that moment ― granted, it was a stressful situation, a sudden situation ― you know, maybe a moment of spectacularly poor judgment. But she went there and had this racist act that she did.”