Franklin Templeton Investments has fired Amy Cooper following an incident involving her and another man in Central Park on Monday. The incident involved another man, Christian Cooper, who is black, who was birdwatching in the park's protected Ramble area. Christian Cooper then asked Amy Cooper if she could leash her dog, as per park rules.
In response to his request, Amy Cooper, who is white, proceeded to threaten to call the police and tell them that a black man was making threats toward her and her dog. A spokesman for the NYPD said that "two individuals had engaged in a verbal dispute," and no citations were issued. However, the incident was caught on video, which quickly went viral on social media. Franklin Templeton had announced it would be investigating the incident, and on Tuesday tweeted that they'd fired Amy Cooper, citing that they "do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton."
Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately. We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton.— Franklin Templeton (@FTI_Global) May 26, 2020
Prior to her firing, Amy Cooper had also given up her dog to the rescue shelter from which she'd adopted it after the dog was seen struggling to breathe while she made the phone call to police. She's also appeared on a number of news programs in response to the video to defend herself. In an interview with CNN, she said that she was "not a racist," but was scared at the time. "When you're alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening," she added.
In another interview with NBC, Amy Cooper also offered an extended apology to Christian Cooper and his family. "I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man, his family," Cooper said. "It was unacceptable and I humbly and fully apologize to everyone who's seen that video, everyone that's been offended… everyone who thinks of me in a lower light and I understand why they do."
The incident with Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper also happened the same day that another black man, George Floyd, was killed by police while in custody after being suspected of forging a check by a grocery store. An official police statement claimed that Floyd "physically resisted officers," though they were still "able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress."