White Woman Calls the Police on Black Man in Central Park

Luna Valayannopoulos-Akrivou, Around School Editor

First came the video of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, murdered by a white police officer. After that, there was the video of another black man, George Floyd, who died when a white officer killed him by kneeling on his throat. Yet again, a video was filmed on Monday 24th, 2020, of a white woman calling the police on a black man supposedly threatening her life in Central Park, New York. Christian Cooper was birdwatching as per his daily morning routine. Amy Cooper was on a walk around the park letting her dog freely run without a leash, something not allowed in accordance with park regulations. When Christian Cooper approached Ms. Cooper and politely asked her to hold her dog on a leash, she refused to listen. When Christian Cooper decided to start filming the women with his phone, the woman promptly got upset and felt threatened enough to call the police while she mistreated her dog by continuously pulling on his collar. When calling the police on Mr. Cooper, Ms. Cooper knew that the police would not be as lenient when hearing about a black man supposedly acting as an aggressor.  Through the video, Ms. Cooper’s voice can be heard saying phrases such as, “Please send the police immediately,” breathlessly.

Since the video has circulated the internet, both Mr. Cooper’s and Ms. Cooper’s faces have been seen more than 30 million times since the original post on Twitter. A lot of anger arose from the post, mostly directed at Ms.Cooper for her disrespectful and racist behavior, and she eventually issued a public apology. Furthermore, once the video was released on the internet, the dog shop (in which the woman had taken the dog from), took the dog away from the woman. She was also fired from her job at an investment firm. Her reaction to Mr. Cooper’s comment troubled many people including the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, who claims that “it was literally an effort to criminalize being a black man in America.”

It is not the first time that black people have been treated unjustly because of the color of their skin rather than their character.

In line with Mayor de Blasio’s remarks, this has not been the first time that a white person was able to use their prejudice and privilege to threaten a black man. Moreover, New Yorkers claim that even though Central Park is known for hosting a wide variety of cultures and countries it is clear that these spaces are divided among races. Similarly, New Yorkers were quick to point out that Central Park, to most Hispanics and Blacks, represents the Central Park Five, where five teenagers were wrongfully accused of rape in 1989. This goes to show that it is not the first time that black people have been treated unjustly because of the color of their skin rather than their character.

Situations like the Central Park Five, the dog walking incident, and others where black people are victimized can change their lives forever. Too often does the evidence turn against them, and too often can they not afford a good lawyer to help their case. This is the reason why the white Ms. Cooper was able to quickly come to the conclusion that she had to call the police, because people like her (predominantly white people) will keep being painted as the good guy, while the blame will be continuously put on the black community. During times like these we should be building a stronger community, rather than tearing each other apart. Racism in America must come to an end, because as both protestors and their signs declared, “Black Lives Matter.”