- A video with more than 18 million views shows the woman, later identified as Amy Cooper, reacting to the request by telling police: "there's an African American man threatening my life."
- Cooper apologized in an interview with NBC New York and said that she felt "threatened" during the encounter.
- As the backlash mounted, investment firm Franklin Templeton said it was investigating and had suspended an employee.
- It did not name Cooper, but NBC New York reported that she was the woman in question.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .
A global investment firm has suspended a woman after a racially-charged video circulated of her calling the police on a man who apparently told her to put her dog on a leash.
The video showed Amy Cooper threatening Christian Cooper, who is black. (It is a coincidence that the two have the same surname.)
She said she would call the NYPD to report a black man "threatening my life", which she then does. Police came but ultimately took no action.
The video started a firestorm on social media, which led to Cooper apologizing in a statement to NBC New York. She was also suspended from her job.
Franklin Templeton Investments, a US asset management firm, said that an employee had been placed on leave as the company investigates the situation.
It did not name the woman, but NBC reported that Cooper was the staffer in question.
The statement said: "We take these matters very seriously, and we do not condone racism of any kind."
As of early Tuesday, the video had over 18 million views on Twitter.
It shows Cooper, wearing a mask, petting her dog in Central Park. The dog is not on a leash, contrary to the rules in that area.
She walks towards the man as she asks him not to film, and he asks her: "Please don't come closer to me."
She then gets closer and says that she will call the police, and the man says "Please call the cops."
"I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life," she then says.
The man says, "please tell them whatever you like."
Cooper then repeatedly claims on the call that there is an African-American man in a bicycle helmet recording her and "threatening me and my dog."
She then shouts, sounding upset: "Please send the cops immediately."
You can watch the video here:
Screenwriter Melody Cooper, Christian Cooper's brother, said she posted the video to Twitter after getting it from him.
She wrote that her brother had "politely" asked her to put her dog on a leash while he was out birdwatching as they were in a protected area of the park.
A New York Police Department spokesperson told Insider that police were called to the Central Park Ramble over a reported assault, but that no arrests were made.
In an call with NBC New York on Monday, Amy Cooper said she "humbly and fully apologizes to everyone who's seen that video."
"I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man, his family," she told the outlet. "It was unacceptable and I humbly and fully apologize to everyone who's seen that video, everyone that's been offendedeveryone who thinks of me in a lower light and I understand why they do."
Cooper said she "overreacted" and said that the man had offered her dog a treat, which made her feel "threatened."
"When I think about the police, I'm such a blessed person," she said. "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."
Christian Cooper told NBC that he kept filming as he did not want to be intimidated by the woman's actions.
"I am not gonna participate in my own dehumanization. I am not going to feed into this."
He said that he had offered the dog a treat after she refused to put the dog a leash, and that she then grabbed the dog and he started recording.
" We live in an age of Ahmaud Arbery where black men are gunned down because of assumptions people make about black men, black people, and I'm just not going to participate in that," he said.
Melody Cooper posted a follow-up tweet on Tuesday morning, where she thanked people for their concern and said her brother was "fine."
"My brother & I are so grateful for your concern! He is fine and left to continue birding after she leashed the dog, as he politely requested."
"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."
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