Over the weekend, a video of area white woman Amy Cooper went viral on social media after she threatened to call the police on a Black birdwatcher following an altercation about her unleashed dog in a leashed dog park.
“I’m taking a picture and calling the cops. I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life” said Amy Cooper to Christian Cooper (no relation), who had politely asked her to please keep her dog on a leash — as per the rules in the Ramble section of Central Park, New York City.
Amy Cooper decides to falsely accuse an African-American man of attacking her after he asked her to put her dog on a leash. Meanwhile she’s choking the poor dog. SMH #BlackTwitter pic.twitter.com/GtfhyrJNPi
— Jay Denson (@JayDensonNYC) May 25, 2020
The video immediately provoked widespread outrage on social media, and for good reason.
Cooper’s threat would have put the man’s life in immediate danger, given the excessive and horrifying violence with which police officers tend to respond to any report involving a black man.
The woman apologized to the world on Tuesday, claiming that she “wasn’t racist” and “did not mean to harm that man in any way.”
“I think I was just scared. When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible,” admitted Cooper to CNN.
The full implication of her threat to lie to the police and tell them that Cooper was threatening her was made appallingly clear on Tuesday morning with the release of an unrelated video of a Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee into a Black man’s neck.
The man later died.
— Michael Morgan (@mikewhoatv) May 26, 2020
One of the most disturbing developments of the quarantine period is how it has had little effect on the frequency of violence against African-Americans while they suffer the brunt of casualties from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ahmaud Arbery was murdered in cold blood on video by two white men — and police did nothing until the video was released to the public.
Breonna Taylor, an EMT worker, was asleep in her home when police busted in late at night with a no-knock warrant. When her boyfriend began to fire at the intruders, thinking they were burglars, the police began shooting back blindly and killed Taylor with eight bullets — and arrested her boyfriend for attempted murder.
Now this as-yet-unidentified black man from Minneapolis joins the long list of African Americans who have been murdered by the institutions and agents of white supremacy — and Cooper is lucky he did not meet the same fate.
Social media did not buy the dog-walker’s apology one bit:
The Amy Cooper incident is another perfect example of why white & non-black people should never be given the benefit of the doubt when they claim to be “afraid” of Black people as a justification for behaving violently.
— Bree Newsome Bass (@BreeNewsome) May 26, 2020
Of course, Amy Cooper’s apology is embedded with yet another lie.
She claims she saw the police as protective but learned through this incident that not everyone has that "luxury."
Cooper knew police were a threat to the Black bird watcher, which is why she weaponized his race. https://t.co/ZwhNDfzUtU
— Staying in the Game (@AdrienneLaw) May 26, 2020
Amy Cooper being careful to use PC terminology as she openly leverages systemic violence to threaten a black man is the most white liberal energy I've ever seen in my life
— Law Boy, Esq. (@The_Law_Boy) May 26, 2020
#AmyCooper said, “Her entire life is being destroyed right now.” But she had NO PROBLEM trying to destroy a Black man’s life with her lies. She knew exactly what she was doing and now she is on her “I’m the real victim” tour. https://t.co/lb9mjoOoT4
— Hannah Drake (@HannahDrake628) May 26, 2020
Amy Cooper made a choice. Not a mistake. Not an error in judgment. A choice. She chose racism, fully and deliberately chose to attempt to put a Black man in harm's way for the "offense" of asking her to obey leash laws. She was going to try to ruin his life, if not take it.
— ❄Mikki Kendall❄ (@Karnythia) May 26, 2020
I don’t buy Amy Cooper’s apology one bit.
The video exposed her as a racist, a sh*tty dog owner, and an all-around horrible person.
She’s just sorry that it was all caught on video, and is now being held accountable. https://t.co/aE2VCW9vL0
— Hamish Mitchell (@H_MitchellPhoto) May 26, 2020
Not only do I not buy Amy Cooper's fake, forced apology for attempting to coerce cops to lynch a Black man in Central Park, I'm also not going to share it. Cops have gunned down Black people for 911 calls of far lesser offenses. Apology not accepted… go to Hell. #dontBSyourself pic.twitter.com/pa92oKvcH1
— Sunn m'Cheaux (@sunnmcheaux) May 26, 2020
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.