Amy Cooper aka “Central Park Karen” is standing by her decision to call authorities after last year’s encounter with a Black birdwatcher. Recently, the white woman sat down with the “Honestly” podcast and opened up to host Bari Weiss about her interaction with Christian Cooper ahead of her 911 call.
“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?’” she said. “And if I end up over there, am I going to get hit by this bike helmet?”
“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,” Central Park Karen continued. “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.”
After allegedly weighing all of her options, she said that calling authorities was the best move. “I don’t know that as a woman alone in a park that I had another option,” she said. “I’m trying to figure out, you know, what does that mean? Is that a physical attack on me? Is that to my dog? Like, what is he about to do?”
Viral footage of the incident — which took place on May 25, 2020 — begins after birdwatching Cooper asked Central Park Karen to put her dog on a leash as they were in the area of the park where dogs were required to be on leashes. As she approaches him to request that he stops filming her, he tells her to stay away. Moments later, she takes out her phone, calls cops and claims that the birdwatcher was threatening both her and her dog.
In a second phone call that was not captured on camera, the woman also accused the Black man of assaulting her in the park. When cops arrived at the scene, Ms. Cooper admitted that she lied and was charged with filing a false police report. The charge was later dropped after she apologized and completed a few therapy sessions centered on racial equity.
Cooper also lost her job at an investment firm, which she sued as she believed the termination was a result of racial bias.