A video has gone viral of a white woman calling the cops on a black man who simply asked her to leash her dog. The woman was in an area in New York City’s Central Park known as the Ramble, where rules require that dogs be leashed.
The sister of the man who filmed the confrontation, Melody Cooper, explained that he had asked the woman to put her dog on its leash. When she refused to, he began filming.
He asks her not to come any closer, and the exchange escalates. She then threatens to call the police and tell them a black man is threatening her life. The woman repeatedly identifies the man by his race in her 911 call in which she demands they “send the cops immediately.”
“There’s an African-American, he’s recording me and threatening me and my dog,” she claims. The video doesn’t show the man threatening the woman.
She is also be seen pulling on the dog’s collar rather than leashing the animal throughout the apparent call.
The woman was quickly identified on social media, prompting the company where she works to issue a statement.
CBS News has reached out to Franklin Templeton to confirm the tweet is about the viral video. In addition to being placed on leave, the woman also “voluntarily surrendered” her dog to the rescue she adopted it from.
In a Facebook post, Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, Inc. wrote that “the owner has voluntarily surrendered the dog in question to our rescue while this matter is being addressed.”
A spokesperson for the animal rescue confirmed the dog that was surrendered was the one in the viral video.
As for the man who filmed the woman, his sister said in a follow-up tweet that he is safe. The New York City Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information issued a statement noting that “police were called to the Central Park Ramble for a report of an assault.”
“Upon arrival, police determined two individuals had engaged in a verbal dispute. There were no arrests or summonses issued,” the DCPI stated.
Cooper issued a follow-up tweet about the incident. “I wanted folks to know what happened to make sure it never happens again from her. All she had to do was put her poor dog on the leash,” she said.
In an interview with NBC New York, the woman apologized for her behavior. “I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man, his family,” the woman, identified as Amy Cooper, told the station. She also addresses the problematic aspects of her being a white woman calling the police on a black man.
“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 said.