MANHATTAN — A viral video of a woman who called police on a black man during a confrontation in Central Park has drawn criticism from many online, including Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The mayor tweeted about the video Tuesday morning, calling the woman’s actions, “racism, plain and simple.”
“She called the police BECAUSE he was a Black man. Even though she was the one breaking the rules. She decided he was the criminal and we know why,” de Blasio said in the tweet. “This kind of hatred has no place in our city.”
The video out of Central Park is racism, plain and simple.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) May 26, 2020
She called the police BECAUSE he was a Black man. Even though she was the one breaking the rules. She decided he was the criminal and we know why.
This kind of hatred has no place in our city. https://t.co/6PP7jIwL1g
The video, posted on Twitter Monday afternoon by Melody Cooper, shows a woman with her off-leash dog in the Ramble at Central Park. Dogs must be leashed in that area of the park.
She tells the man, identified on his Facebook page as Christian Cooper, to stop recording her and he asks her not to approach him.
The woman, identified in published reports as Amy Cooper, then threatens to call the police.
“I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life,” the woman says in the video.
As she appears to call 911, the woman becomes increasingly hysterical while also holding her dog tightly by the collar.
At one point, the dog can be seen struggling as his front legs are lifted off the ground while she shouts into the phone.
"He is recording me and threatening me and my dog," the woman is heard saying. "I'm being threatened by a man in the Ramble! Please send the cops immediately."
Cooper is not heard making any threats on video.
Before the video ends, Cooper says “thank you.”
Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Bramble in NY’s Central Park, where it is clearly posted on signs that dogs MUST be leashed at all times, and someone like my brother (an avid birder) politely asks her to put her dog on the leash. pic.twitter.com/3YnzuATsDm— Melody Cooper (@melodyMcooper) May 25, 2020
It’s not immediately clear what happened before the video began, but Cooper wrote on social media that he told the woman that dogs must be leashed in the Ramble.
The woman allegedly refused, so Cooper pulled out treats to lure the dog, or convince the owner to leash him.
That's when the video begins, according to Cooper's description.
Police officers responded to the park after the 8:10 a.m. call, according to an NYPD spokesperson. No arrests were made and no summonses were issued, the spokesperson said.
As the video was widely shared and criticized on social media, the woman's employer, Franklin Templeton, released a statement Monday on Twitter saying she'd been placed on administrative leave.
On Tuesday, the company announced the woman was fired, effectively immediately.
The animal rescue where the woman adopted her dog also released a statement saying she had voluntarily surrendered to dog "while this matter is being addressed."