Amy Cooper — perhaps one of the most infamous “Karens” of them all — is sharing her side of the story months after she was pegged the “Central Park Karen.”
As you’ll no doubt recall, Amy went viral on May 25, 2020 (the same day George Floyd was killed) after calling the cops on a Black man, bird-watcher Christian Cooper (above, inset), who she claimed was “threatening” her and her dog in Central Park. The shocking video led to her arrest for falsifying an incident report as well as getting fired from her job — before she eventually fled the country. She also “voluntarily surrendered” her dog, according to NBC New York.
Now, after being branded a racist, the woman sat down with Bari Weiss on her Honestly podcast to give her side of the story. As you can imagine, it’s very contradictory to original reports.
At the time, Christian admitted he approached the woman once noticing her dog was off-leash, which is against the park rules. Amy explained that the dog park was closed and that her dog needed exercise — their current destination, dubbed The Ramble, was the safest place to do so in the big city. His response, according to his Facebook post, was:
“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.”
As he admitted, he pulled out “dog treats I carry for such intransigence” to coax the pup over towards him which promoted the Central Park Karen to scream:
“DON’T YOU TOUCH MY DOG!!!!”
You can see the viral moment (below):
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
After the moment caught mass attention, she apologized at the time, admitting she overreacted. Speaking with NBC News, she said last spring:
“When I think about the police, I’m such a blessed person. I’ve come to realize, especially today, that I think of 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.”
But recalling the incident to Weiss, Cooper now is doubling down on saying she was threatened. She says it was the “you’re not going to like it” line that scared her:
“I’m trying to figure out what that means? Is that a physical attack on me? An attack on my dog? What is he about to do? Before I could even figure out how to process this, he pulls out dog treats and I’m like ‘What the heck is this guy doing?’”
The moment was so startling, she says, she even feared for her dog’s life, explaining:
“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?’ And if I end up over there am I going to get hit by this bike helmet?”
Whoa… We see why that would be scary and cause an uproar of emotions. But we can’t help but wonder if some implicit bias was in play as well — jumping straight to thoughts of violence because of his race?
That said, it does sound like Christian uses dog treats to scare owners “because they don’t want their dog eating treats” from strangers, as he’s admitted in the past. Clearly, his plan works, but maybe too well?
Of course, none of this explanation addresses the infamous 911 phone call. We mean, why not just take your dog and leave the area??
On why she decided to involve the authorities during the argument (rather than just leash her dog and leave), the podcast guest shared:
“I don’t know that as a woman alone in a park that I had another option.”
Again, would this be the same reaction had she not been having an argument with a Black man? We’re not so sure…
She insists she explored “all” her options but after looking around and not seeing any witnesses, she says she felt the safest option was to get professional help, adding:
“And it was, you know, it was my last attempt to sort of hope that he would step down and leave me alone.”
Amy alleged the moment she picked up the phone (around the same time Chris began filming the video), his demeanor changed from threatening to a victim.
“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. Suddenly, you know, almost this victimized voicing, ‘Don’t come near me. Don’t come any closer.’ 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.”
A huge reason she became such a viral “Karen” was that she repeatedly (and seemingly unnecessarily) referred to Christian as an “African American man” on the phone call… But with the full recording of Cooper’s 911 conversation, it’s obvious why she felt the need to do that. The operator couldn’t hear her AT ALL.
Seriously, we shudder to think of a phone call like this happening when someone was actually in life-threatening danger because there’s simply no way help would have arrived on time. Listen to the chat (below):
That audio definitely paints a different picture of the call itself. But it doesn’t explain what seemed like premeditation on Amy’s part, as she can be heard in the Facebook video telling Christian:
“I’m taking a picture and calling the cops. I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”
That really sounds like she knows what that could mean — and how dangerous calling the cops on a Black man is.
As mentioned, Amy was quickly fired from investment firm Franklin Templeton, where she earned $170k per year. Following an investigation, they claimed they “determined indisputably” that Amy was a racist.
Now, she’s suing for race and gender discrimination, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. And she says she has witnesses in her corner now, too, such as a Black male dog walker who claims Christian also aggressively threatened him while walking his dog off-leash. Two more white individuals, who have not released their identities out of fear of becoming the next “‘Karen’ or whatever,” also gave similar testimony. Yeesh…
Thoughts, Perezcious readers? Was Christian being manipulative or did Amy way overreact? Or both?? Sound OFF in the comments (below)!
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