Amy Cooper was filmed by birdwatcher Christian Cooper in The Rambles in Central Park in an incident that sparked accusations of racism. Picture: via AP
Amy Cooper was filmed by birdwatcher Christian Cooper in The Rambles in Central Park in an incident that sparked accusations of racism. Picture: via AP

Man who filmed ‘racist Karen’ speaks out

The man who filmed a heated encounter in New York over the weekend has spoken out, acknowledging the woman's apology, but saying her actions were "definitely racist".

Christian Cooper - who is not related to Amy - had been birdwatching in The Ramble area of Central Park in New York City, when he got into an argument with her after he asked her to leash her dog. The area does not allow for dogs to roam unleashed.

Mr Cooper then began filming Ms Cooper as she told him she's "going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life".

She then called the police and made a false report as her dog, being yanked on its collar by Ms Cooper, screeched.

But Mr Cooper said the woman who called the cops on him is now having her life threatened, which he said was "strange" and "inappropriate and abhorrent and should stop immediately".

The incident was shared on social media by Mr Cooper's sister, and sparked outrage, making global headlines, as Ms Cooper was labelled "racist".

The video has been viewed more than 30 million times. Picture: via AP
The video has been viewed more than 30 million times. Picture: via AP

Ms Cooper has since been sacked from her job at investment company Franklin Templeton after being briefly placed on administrative leave. She also willingly surrendered her dog to an animal rescue shelter after she was accused of animal cruelty.

Ms Cooper has apologised for the incident, but claimed she is "not a racist". She also said she's received threats, and told CNN in a recent interview her "entire life is being destroyed right now".

"I think her apology is sincere," Mr Cooper told CNN on Tuesday. "I'm not sure that in that apology she recognises that while she may not be or consider herself a racist, that particular act was definitely racist."

Mr Cooper was birdwatching before the viral incident in Central Park.
Mr Cooper was birdwatching before the viral incident in Central Park.

"And the fact that that was her recourse at that moment - granted, it was a stressful situation, a sudden situation - you know, maybe a moment of spectacularly poor judgment. But she went there and had this racist act that she did," he said.

Mr Cooper also said he'd been told since the video went viral, people had been making threats to Ms Cooper.

"I am told there has been death threats and that is wholly inappropriate and abhorrent and should stop immediately," he said.

"I find it strange that people who were upset that … that she tried to bring death by cop down on my head, would then turn around and try to put death threats on her head.

"Where is the logic in that?" he said. "Where does that make any kind of sense?"

"I'm not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way," Ms Cooper said in an initial apology over the incident. She said she meant no harm to the larger African-American community.

"I think I was just scared," she said in an interview with CNN.

"When you're alone in the Ramble, you don't know what's happening.

"It's not excusable, it's not defensible."

Originally published as Man who filmed 'racist Karen' speaks out

The incident sparked accusations of racism. (Christian Cooper via AP)
The incident sparked accusations of racism. (Christian Cooper via AP)