Amy Cooper: Central Park dog walker who called police on black man has pet returned

Chelsea Ritschel

Amy Cooper has got her dog back 10 days after she gave it up following a public outcry over her calling the police on a black man in Central Park.

In a video of the 25 May incident, Cooper claimed in a phone call to police that bird watcher Christian Cooper was threatening her life - after he’d asked her to place a leash on her dog.

In addition to sparking widespread outrage over her racist behaviour towards Mr Cooper, she also faced accusations of animal cruelty after she was seen holding her dog in the air by its collar.

Following the incident, Ms Cooper, who was fired from her job at investment firm Franklin Templeton, surrendered her dog to Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, which said in a statement at the time that the matter was being addressed.

“Thank you to the concerned public for reaching out to us about a video involving a dog that was adopted from our rescue a few years ago,” the animal rescue said. “As of this evening, the owner has voluntarily surrendered the dog in question to our rescue while this matter is being addressed.”

Abandoned Angels would like to express its gratitude for the outpouring of support regarding the dog that was recently...

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Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, Inc.
on
Wednesday, June 3, 2020

According to an update shared by the animal rescue on Wednesday, it has since “complied with the owner's request for return of the dog” after it was “promptly evaluated by our veterinarian, who found that he was in good health.”

“Abandoned Angels would like to express its gratitude for the outpouring of support regarding the dog that was recently placed in our custody, following release of a troubling video that was brought to our attention,” the organisation wrote on Facebook. “The dog was promptly evaluated by our veterinarian, who found that he was in good health. We have coordinated with the appropriate New York City law enforcement agencies, which have declined to examine the dog or take it into their custody.

“Accordingly, and consistent with input received from law enforcement, we have now complied with the owner's request for return of the dog.”

The return of Cooper’s dog has been met with outrage on social media, where people have suggested that it is a "perfect example of white privilege".

“Pretty sure choking your dog and getting it back a week later is an A1 example of white privilege,” one person tweeted.

Another said: “Lemme tell you how whiteness works: After intentionally trying to get a black man killed by filing a police report, Amy Cooper asked for her previously confiscated dog back. And got it.”

Among those expressing their disapproval over the return of Cooper’s dog was documentary filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who tweeted: “She got the dog back. Of course, she did.”

Last week, the New York Police Department and Manhattan District Attorney said they were discussing potential false-threat charges against Cooper over the incident.

“We're taking a look at exactly what the calls were, speaking to Christian, speaking to Amy, speaking to everyone involved, looking through all the videos to see if it sustains a charge," NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan told WPIX. "The uproar because of this, what she's caused because of that call, we condemn that action. And if we can make that arrest, we will."

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