The victim of a racist encounter at Central Park which went viral online this week has been revealed to be Christian Cooper, the former editor for Marvel who introduced the first gay character into the Star Trek comics.
The video, posted to Cooper’s Facebook on Monday 25 May, shows a white woman calling the Police on Cooper, a black man, while he films her at Central Park in New York City.
Cooper was birdwatching in the Ramble, a protected nature reserve located within Central Park, at roughly 8 am on Sunday 24 May. The woman, later identified as Amy Cooper (no relation), was walking her dog unleashed in the area.
All dogs must be leashed between 9 am and 9 pm in other parts of Central Park, but must be leashed at all times in the Ramble.
When Cooper asked the woman to leash her dog an altercation ensued, prompting Cooper to start recording the ecounter with his iPhone.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she says in the video.
Cooper responded, “Please tell them whatever you like.”
The woman then called 911 as her yelps from the scruff-hold she has on him.
“I’m sorry, I’m in the Ramble, and there’s a man, African American, with a bicycle helmet. He is recording me, and threatening me and my dog,” she says, presumably to 911.
“I’m sorry I can’t hear you. I’m being threatened by a man in The Ramble. Please send the cops immediately,” she then repeated.
The video quickly went viral on Facebook and Twitter after the video was shared by Cooper’s sister, Melody. Amy Cooper was later identified as the Vice President of Investment Solutions at investment company, Franklin Templeton.
Amy Cooper has since had her employment terminated by the company on the grounds that Franklin Templeton does “not tolerate racism of any kind.”
In a 1998 interview with E News, Cooper said he wrote Mishima “gay all along, but I just never came right out and said it.”
Now a biomedical editor at Health Science Communications, Cooper notes that his experience, while disturbing, is not uncommon.
POC using public restrooms or parks attracts endless incidents where white people needlessly call the Police. The difference is now evidence of these incidents is going viral.
However, while these false calls are troubling, its Police’s reactions that cause the most concern.
The same day Amy Cooper called the Police on Christian Cooper, Minneapolis officers arrested and killed 46-year-old George Floyd who matched the description of a reported forger.
In a now-viral video, Floyd is pinned to the ground as one of the officers holds him down by jamming a knee into his neck. Despite Floyd pleading that he couldn’t breathe as the officer’s knee was thrust into his neck, officers continued with the arrest.
The four officers were fired on Tuesday 26 May, as the death is being investigated by the FBI and state law enforcement authorities.