A white woman called the cops and told them an African-American man was threatening her life after he simply asked her to put her dog on a leash in Central Park on Monday.
Amy Cooper, 41, has since apologized and has been placed on administrative leave from her job as head of insurance investment solutions at Franklin Templeton after the confrontation with bird watcher Christian Cooper, 57, in the wooded area known as The Ramble.
“We take these matters very seriously, and we do not condone racism of any kind. While we are in the process of investigating the situation, the employee involved has been put on administrative leave,” the company’s statement read.
She also returned her dog Henry to a rescue shelter after viewers said she looked like she was choking him by dragging him by his collar.
Late on Monday, Cooper apologized and said she understands why people may think less of her after viewing the clip.
She told CNN she wanted to “publicly apologize to everyone.”
“I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way,” she said, adding that she also didn’t mean any harm to the African American community.
“I think I was just scared,” Amy Cooper said. “When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.”
‘I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man, his family,’ she told NBC New York. ‘It was unacceptable and I humbly and fully apologize to everyone who’s seen that video, everyone that’s been offended … everyone who thinks of me in a lower light and I understand why they do.
‘When I think about the police, I’m such a blessed person. I’ve come to realize especially today that I think of [the police] as a protection agency, and unfortunately, this has caused me to realize that there are so many people in this country that don’t have that luxury.
She told CNN that since the video was posted, her “entire life is being destroyed right now.”
Amy had her unleashed dog at the park, an act that is against park rules for the safety of birds. Dogs are supposed to be leashed at all times in the Ramble, according to the park’s website.
When Christian asked her to put her dog on a leash, she threatened him then called 911 and used his race as a weapon against him
Christian, who does not appear on camera, claimed in a Facebook post that he alerted her to signs that states dogs cannot be walked in The Ramble without a leash as it’s an area that protects wildlife.