'Central Park Karen' Defends Her Decision to Call 911 on Black Bird-Watcher

·3 min read

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The woman known as “Central Park Karen” is back to playing the victim.

In Tuesday’s episode of Bari Weiss’ Honestly podcast, Amy Cooper relived her infamous encounter with Christian Cooper—a Black bird-watcher whom she accused of threatening her and her dog while they were out for a walk in Central Park.

“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?”

The incident occurred May 25, 2020, in the park’s Ramble section where dogs are required to be on leashes. Christian, who is not related to Amy, began recording the exchange after he allegedly told the woman to put her dog on a leash. Amy is seen approaching the man as she asks him to stop filming her. Christian tells Amy, “please don’t come close to me,” prompting her to take out her phone to call the police.

“I’m in the Ramble and there is a man, African American, he has a bicycle helmet,” she’s heard saying. “He is recording me and threatening me and my dog.”

The footage quickly went viral and ignited widespread backlash against Amy. The woman was subsequently fired from her investment firm job and was charged with filing a false police report. The misdemeanor was ultimately dismissed after she issued an apology and completed a series of therapy sessions focused on racial equity. But more than a year later, Amy is still trying to excuse her actions that many believe put Christian’s life in danger.

“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?”

She continued: “Suddenly, you know, almost this victimized voicing [sic], [saying,] ‘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.”

Amy claimed she had “explored” all her options during the encounter, but believed calling the police was her only choice.

“I tried to leave. I tried to look for anyone who’s around,” she recalled. “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.”

Christian has yet to publicly respond to Amy’s comments.

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