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Put The Central Park Dog Incident In Proper Context!

A white New York woman, Amy Cooper, walked her dog in Central Park on Monday morning. She encountered a black man by the name of Christian Cooper (no relation) who took issue with her off-leash dog. Video of their confrontation went viral. The problem is that the video only shows the tail end of their confrontation and not what led up to it.

A lot Happened Before The Video Rolled

Christian Cooper gave his own written account of the incident on his Facebook page, where the original video was posted. He was most likely bird-watching in the area of the park called “the Ramble.” Christian informed Amy that dogs are not allowed off-leash in that area. He says that her dog was tearing up plantings there.

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…

Posted by Christian Cooper on Monday, May 25, 2020
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Amy protests against her dog being on-leash, because all the dog runs she normally uses are closed and her dog needs the exercise. Christian informs her to take the dog to an area outside of the Ramble. She objects and says that the area is too dangerous. At this point, there is a clear argument, maybe even an impasse.

According to Christian, he then says “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.” She reportedly said “what’s that?” He then says “come here, puppy!” Amy obviously does not want the dog to come to the person she was just having an argument with and allegedly says “he won’t come to you.” Christian says “we’ll see about that” and then pulls out some dog treats in an attempt to lure the dog in his direction.

It’s not quite clear what Christian’s intentions were. He could have simply tried to prove a point about her dog being off-leash. Or maybe he wanted to kidnap the dog or simply move it to another location. Amy was obviously not thrilled and reportedly said: “don’t touch my dog!”

Police Are Summoned

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At this point is when the now-viral video started recording. Amy threatens to call the police. Christian says, “go ahead and call them, tell them whatever you like!” She calls the police and says that an African-American man is recording her, threatening herself and her dog.

When police arrived to the scene, both Amy and Christian were gone.

Reactions poured in from all over the internet. Most of the immediate reactions were very sympathetic to the African-American man filming. This could be because of the unknown backstory. Amy Cooper was suspended from her job, surrendered the pup back to the shelter from which she adopted it, and apologized to Christian Cooper for the incident taking place.

Who’s To Blame For This?

An opinion here is that both sides are wrong. Christian Cooper was correct to inform Amy of the park’s rule about dogs requiring a leash. He was incorrect to try and lure the dog in his direction after they had already been arguing. Maybe his motives were not malicious, but maybe they were. Amy would presumably have a difficult time understanding where his head space was.

Amy also shares blame due to her over-reaction. She was correct to call the police if she felt that would be best her safety. She was wrong to lie and say that Christian threatened her and her dog. She just felt threatened. There is a big difference. She also brought up his race, possibly thinking that they would be heavy-handed with him or that he would be afraid of the police.

This whole incident could have been totally avoided. If the virus did not shut down the dog runs, she would have used those instead of the park where leashes aren’t allowed. If she used a leash, then Christian would not have bothered her. If he does not ask her to leash the dog and then take it to the next level and attempt to lure her dog, then she doesn’t overreact.

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  1. You keep saying he was going to Take the dog. But you didn’t know what his intentions were. No dog owner wants their dog to be fed by a stranger. That’s why he carries dog treats when he goes to the park and runs into dogs off their leash. Why was it ok for her to emphasize to the police the color of his skin as if being black is a weapon. She knew what she was doing when she said that(as do you ABL)but I see you’re giving her a pass(privilege). It’s also obvious you have no compassion for dogs. She almost killed her own dog by hanging and dragging it all in her quest. You just said in your other video how you’re such a law and order guy. So am I. She was clearly breaking the law but again you never say she’s in the wrong. She’s obviously arrogant to break the law and she think she has privilege to for rapid police response by mentioning the man is African American.

  2. Both are wrong. She didn’t take the dog outside that area when asked. He was going to lead the dog away with treats. Both are wrong. He could have recorded it & done something else. She could have taken the dog leash it and taken the dog out of that area like he said. Maybe people should be respectful when asked to obey the rules instead of being disrespectful and defiant. My punishment -do weekend ground service 1 day for a month. The other could do 1 day for a month dog walking for a local shelter. To bad one has to be guilty. We could learn a valuable lessons here, instead of Black vs White. Love your work!

  3. Of course, you give the Caucasian woman the benefit of the doubt! They are obviously both “fine people”, except one could potentially die as a result of the false emergency call…Guess which one!

    Does she deserve to be respected more than he? Are her rights more important than his?

    I wonder how you respond to being dehumanized? Do you just accept it with a glad and open heart? If so, I pity your soul.

  4. Both were wrong. I would give her 60/40 wrong. Maybe a 65/35. Percentages are up for debate. But this is a small incident and now it is a blown out of proportion. She gave the dog back to the shelter and now she has been fired from her job. This is ridiculous. People love to label other people racists. But there are degrees of this. Is she the same as some Klan guy in the south who would love to start lynching black people again? Whatever you think of ABL he is right in saying why is the dog run closed and the park open? I also think that both these people are under stress because of the COVID restrictions. I think the whole thing and the result is just a shame.

  5. Sorry, She’s a WOMAN by herself in central park. Maybe he should have contacted the autorities! Or does he not trust them? Why keep dog treats in your pocket? What the hell. Any MAN knows you don’t film a woman. You don’t try to get her dog off her. What are people thinking shaming her like this? He tried intimidate her and know says she’s racist. It’s a WOMAN in the PARK. Ask her to leash and then leave her along and contact the autorities. What happened to Gentlemen?

  6. Sorry, She’s a WOMAN by herself in central park. Maybe he should have contacted the autorities! Or does he not trust them? Why keep dog treats in your pocket? What the hell. Any MAN knows you don’t film a woman. You don’t try to get her dog off her. What are people thinking shaming her like this? He tried intimidate her and now says she’s racist. It’s a WOMAN in the PARK. Ask her to leash and then leave her alone and contact the autorities. What happened to Gentlemen?


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