Dog walker Amy Cooper, the white woman dubbed ‘Central Park Karen,’ says that she called the police on a black bird watcher, Christian Cooper, after he appeared to be threatening her in a secluded part of the New York City landmark last year.
In an interview with Bari Weiss’s Honestly podcast, Amy Cooper told podcaster Kmele Foster that since viral video of her calling the police surfaced, she has had to flee the country and go into hiding.
She also says she has been traumatized to the point where she has considered suicide, Weiss’s Substack, Common Sense, reports.
Amy Cooper was walking her dog alone in an isolated part of Central Park on Memorial Day last year when Christian Cooper, the black bird watcher who filmed her calling the police, approached her on the north edge of the Ramble.
‘Get out of here. You shouldn’t be here,’ Christian told Amy, who was with her dog, Henry.
Dog walker Amy Cooper (left), the white woman dubbed ‘Central Park Karen,’ says that she called the police on a black bird watcher, Christian Cooper, after he appeared to be threatening her in a secluded part of the New York City landmark last year
After Christian told Amy to put a leash on Henry, Amy refused, saying that he needed his exercise.
She claims she was about to leash the dog when Christian issued his threat.
‘If you’re going to do what you want to do, then I’m going to do what I want to do, but you’re not going to like it,’ Christian purportedly told her.
‘I’m trying to figure out what that means? Is that a physical attack on me? An attack on my dog?’ Amy says in an interview with Bari Weiss’ Honestly podcast.
‘What is he about to do?
‘Before I could even figure out how to process this, he pulls out dog treats [from his fanny pack] and I’m like “What the heck is this guy doing?”
She continues: ‘I look up and he’s holding these dog treats in one hand and a bike helmet in his other hand and I’m thinking, “Oh my god, is this guy going to lure my dog over and try to hit him with his bike helmet?”’
Cooper with her dog. She was fired from her investment banker job and was deemed racist by public figures including NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio
‘And if I end up over there am I going to get hit by this bike helmet?’
DailyMail.com has reached out to Christian Cooper seeking comment.
Amy was charged with one count of falsifying an incident report – a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison and a $1,000 fine – in May 2020 after calling the cops on Christian, a birdwatcher who had told her to put her dog on a leash.
She called the cops hysterical, claiming he was threatening her life. He videoed the incident and it went viral on Facebook.
In February, Manhattan prosecutors dropped their charges against Amy, claiming she learned her lesson in therapy.
Amy was fired from her job at an investment firm in Manhattan and became one of the faces of a series of incidents in which white women across America were seen to be abusing their privileges to report black or minority people for crimes they didn’t commit.
Amy says that she felt she didn’t have a choice but to call the police.
‘I don’t know that as a woman alone in a park that I had another option,’ she says.
Amy also says she was thrown off guard by Christian’s change in demeanor when she called the cops.
‘It’s really weird because he’s still standing there, you know, same very physical posture, and suddenly out of him comes this voice from man who’s been very dominant towards me,’ she says.
‘Suddenly, you know, almost this victimized voicing, [saying,] “Don’t come near me. Don’t come any closer”,’ she says.
‘Like, almost like he’s terrified of me … To me that’s even more terrifying now because you’ve gone from screaming at me – if you kept screaming at me, at least it was consistent, but now his whole verbal demeanor has changed.’
Amy says that when she asked Christian to stop recording, he refused, adding to her anxiety.
In a lawsuit filed earlier this year against her former employer, Amy cites another dog owner, Jeremy Lockett, who says that he and other dog walkers in Central Park have been threatened by Christian Cooper (above) in the past
‘I’d explored all my options. I tried to leave. I tried to look for anyone who’s around,’ she says.
‘There was no noise, no sound.
‘And it was, you know, it was my last attempt to sort of hope that he would step down and leave me alone.’
Amy sued her former employer, saying it fired her without doing a fair investigation and falsely portrayed her as racist.
Amy filed the complaint against investment firm Franklin Templeton, where she worked from June 2015 to May 2020, in Manhattan federal court earlier this year, nearly a year ago to the day after she was fired.
Franklin Templeton said in a May 26, 2020 tweet – which was liked 277,000 times – that it performed a legitimate investigation and ‘determined indisputably’ that Cooper was racist and terminated her.
Amy’s lawsuit, however, claims there was never a ‘legitimate’ investigation and the company’s tweet gave the ‘Karen’ narrative ‘legitimacy’ and ’caused her such severe emotional distress that she was suicidal.’
Amy is seeking unspecified damages for race and gender discrimination, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.
Her lawsuit cites another dog walker who says he and two others have had unpleasant encounters with Christian.
Amy says that she felt she didn’t have a choice but to call the police. ‘I don’t know that as a woman alone in a park that I had another option,’ she says
The legal action cites a previous run-in Christian had with a man named Jerome Lockett, a black dog owner who frequents Central Park.
Lockett told media outlets that Christian is a ‘d**k’ and ‘probably did threaten her.’
‘Sure, we’re breaking the rules by having our dogs off leash in a park that has 80percent of its area off-leash hours, but that gives that guy no authority to accost people in such manner,’ Lockett said, according to the court document.
‘My two fellow dog owners have had similar situations with this man, but don’t feel comfortable coming forward because they’re white. They think they’ll be seen as a “Karen” or whatever.’
But the company still ‘perpetuated’ the ‘Karen’ vs. an innocent African American narrative and never contacted Lockett, the lawsuit says.
Cooper worked at Franklin Templeton and was earning upwards of $170,000-a-year.
After the incident went viral last year, the company fired her, saying: ‘Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately.’
Mayor Bill de Blasio was among those who condemned the incident. He called her racist.