Amy Cooper says she had no choice but to call police on Christian Cooper
“I don’t know that as a woman alone in a park that I had another option,” Amy Cooper said in a new interview.
Amy Cooper, famously known as “Central Park Karen,” is speaking out about her headline-making encounter with a Black male birdwatcher last May.
Speaking on the podcast “Honestly with Bari Weiss,” Cooper said she exhausted “all options” before calling 911 on Christian Cooper (no relation) during their heated confrontation in Central Park over her unleashed dog.
“I don’t know that as a woman alone in a park that I had another option,” Amy said on the podcast Tuesday, New York Post reports.
theGRIO previously reported, Amy and Christian sparred as he was bird-watching in an area of the park called The Ramble. The Ramble is often noted for its bird watching opportunities, where birdwatchers can catch a glimpse of some of the approximately 230 species found in the woods, according to the Central Park website.
Amy claims she was about to leash her dog when Christian threatened her if she didn’t comply, and said he’d do something that she was “not going to like.”
“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?” she said on the podcast. “That’s when he pulled out dog treats and called the dog to him. “
She said Christian was holding a bike helmet and she feared he would hit the dog with it.
“I’m thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, is this guy like going to like lure my dog over and try to like hit him with this bike helmet?’” she continued.
Christian began filming her with his cell phone as she called 911 and falsely claimed a Black man was threatening her life.
“It’s really weird because he’s still standing there, you know, same very physical posture, and suddenly out of him comes this voice from man who’s been very dominant towards me,” she said.
“Suddenly, you know, almost this victimized voicing [sic], [saying,] ‘Don’t come near me. Don’t come any closer,” she continued. “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 said she decided to call 911 after Christian refused to stop filming her.
“I’d explored all my options. 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.”
The misdemeanor charges that were filed against Amy for falsely accusing Christian of “threatening” her were dismissed earlier this year. The case was reportedly tossed after she completed five therapy sessions. The viral incident led to her getting fired from her job.
Most recently she filed a lawsuit against her former employer for labeling her a racist.
“I’m terrified to take my dog for a walk, because what if someone sees me go into a home and realizes it’s where I live,” said Amy on the podcast. “So, sometimes I’ll drive him over to a remote field or something just to play with him.
“But it’s still hard. There’s a beautiful hiking trail that I’d love to take him on. I can’t take him there because I’m terrified to go into the woods with him anymore.”
Amy and Christian have not spoken since the incident but she appears to be open to having a dialogue with him.
“I have zillion questions, of course, in my head or things I’d like to say, but the one that really, I really would just like to start and open this conversation with is, ‘You scared me,’” she said. “And really just leave it there and leave it to him to respond back to me as to what he wants to say back to that because I think that opens the door to a conversation.”
Christian Cooper has not yet publicly responded to Amy’s comments.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast, “Dear Culture?” Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download theGrio today!