Connect with us

U.S.

NY Woman Fired After Calling Police on Black Man Who Asked Her to Leash Her Dog

Published

on

  • When a black man asked a white woman to leash her dog in an area of Central Park where she was required to do so, she refused.
  • She then called the police, claiming that an African American man was threatening her life. 
  • Viral video of the exchange led to backlash against the woman, who was fired from her job.
  • She also returned her pet to an adoption shelter after criticism over how she cares for the animal.

What Happened Before the Viral Video 

A woman in New York was fired from job Tuesday after a viral video showed her calling the police on a black man who asked her to put her dog on a leash.

The footage spread across social media Monday and caused a flood of outrage; however, more information about what exactly lead up the exchange has been shared by both parties involved.

Let’s take a look at all of those claims before jumping into the video itself. 

The incident happened in Central Park early Monday when a man by the name of Christian Cooper was out bird watching. Christian said he approached the woman after he noticed her dog running free in the Ramble, an area full of thick greenery that attracts over 200 bird species.

In a Facebook post that he made about their exchange, Christian said he told her, “Ma’am, dogs in the Ramble have to be on the leash at all times. The sign is right there.”

The dog owner has since been identified as Amy Cooper (no relation to Christian Cooper). According to his post, she allegedly told him that dog runs are closed and her pet needed exercise.

After he noted that she could take the dog outside the Ramble to run free, she refused. Then he allegedly said, “Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it.”

Amy told CNN, “I didn’t know what that meant. When you’re alone in a wooded area, that’s absolutely terrifying, right?”

She also said he came out of a bush and was screaming at her, but Christian says he was “actually pretty calm.” 

At this point, Christian says he pulled out some dog treats that he keeps on him to get owners to leash their pets. He said he finds that owners hate when strangers feed their dogs, which usually prompts them to leash their animals afterward. 

Amy told CNN that Christian was throwing the treats at her dog, but Christian said he never even had a chance to. This is apparently when he started recording the incident on his phone.

He attached that video to his Facebook post and his sister shared on Twitter, where it spread like wildfire. 

The Viral Video 

The video starts with Amy asking Christian to stop recording. She begins to approach him while pulling her dog by its collar and Christian says “please don’t come close to me.”

“Sir, I’m asking you to stop recording me,” she says.

“Please don’t come close to me,” he replies as she raises her hand in the air towards him. She then tells him that she’s calling the cops and he encourages her to do so.

“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she says.

“Please tell them whatever you like,” he responds. 

The woman begins to back away while on her phone, still pulling her dog along by its collar as it tries to break free from her hold.

“I’m sorry. I’m in the Ramble and there is a man, African American, he has a bicycle helmet. He is recording me and threatening me and my dog,” she says. 

She repeats her claim again as the dog yelps and tries harder to break free. 

At this point, she seems a bit out of breath after trying to restrain her dog, and she shouts a much more desperate plea to the person on the other end of the call.

“I’m sorry,” she says as she finally leashes her dog. “I can’t hear clear either. I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble! Please send the cops immediately!” 

“Thank you,” Christian says as he ends the recording.

Police eventually responded to the call, and a New York Police Department spokesperson said they determined the two had “engaged in a verbal dispute.” No arrests were made and no summonses were issued. 

Christian Cooper Speaks Out 

The video prompted a ton of outrage from people calling Amy a racist and demanding consequence since she was the one knowingly breaking rules.

Others were frustrated by her claim that Christain was threatening her life, especially given the history of unjust treatment black people have faced at the hands of police and civilians. 

This morning, even NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio called her behavior, “racism, plain and simple.” 

Christian later explained his actions to NBC News saying, “If the habitat is destroyed we won’t be able to go there to see the birds, to enjoy the plantings.”

He made a similar comment to CNN, adding, “People spend a lot of money and time planting in those areas as well. Nothing grows in a dog run for a reason.”

As far as why he decided to record the incident, he said he thought to himself, “I’m not going to participate in my own dehumanization. I’m not going to feed into this.”

“We live in an age of Ahmaud Arbery where black men are gunned down because of assumptions people make about black men, black people, and I’m just not going to participate in that,” he added.

Amy Cooper Faces Consequences 

While Christian has been met with a ton of support online, Amy told CNN that her “entire life is being destroyed right now.” 

Her employer, the investment management company Franklin Templeton, eventually caught wind of what happened. They issued a statement on Monday saying they do not condone racism, adding that Amy was placed on administrated leave.

By Tuesday morning, the company said it decided to terminate her effective immediately.

On top of that, Amy faced a slew of criticism for how she treated her dog in the video. Then people starting digging into her past and allegedly found other instances of her dog suffering injuries through unrelated incidents. 

Then late Monday, the Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue issued a statement saying that Amy had “voluntarily surrendered the dog” back into its care after adopting it a few years ago. The rescue center also stressed that the dog was safe and in good health.

Amy Apologizes 

As far as apologizes go, Amy told CNN that she wanted to “publicly apologize to everyone.”

She told the outlet, “I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way,” and added that she also didn’t mean any harm to the African American community.

That apology was met with backlash from people like City Councilman Mark Levine. He called her response “totally inadequate,” and said it, “Reflects no acknowledgment that she made a false accusation nor that she was attempting to weaponize the race of Mr. Cooper.”

However, this isn’t the only apology Amy gave. She also issued another statement to NBC News saying: “I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man, his family. 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.” 

“When I think about the police, I’m such a blessed person. I’ve come to realize especially today that I think of [the police] as a protection agency, and unfortunately, this has caused me to realize that there are so many people in this country that don’t have that luxury.”

When CNN asked Christian if he accepts her apology and he said, “…if it’s genuine and if she plans on keeping her dog on a leash in the Ramble going forward, then we have no issues with each other.”

Though Christian might be willing to move forward, plenty of people online have continued to go after Amy and are not satisfied with the repercussions she’s faced so far.  

See what others are saying: (NBC New York) (Pix 11) (CNN

U.S.

Lawmakers Call For Action as Oil Companies Post Record Profits Amid Rising Gas Prices

Published

on

A recent analysis from the Center for American Progress found that the top five oil companies earned over 300% more in profits during the first quarter of 2022 than the same period last year.


As Consumer Prices Climb, Big Oil Profits

American oil companies are facing increased scrutiny over profiteering practices as gas prices continue to surpass record highs driven by Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

Last week, costs surged to above $4 per gallon in all 50 states for the first time ever, according to the auto club AAA. Prices are currently averaging over $4.59 per gallon nationwide, which is 50% higher than they were this time last year.

In addition to consumers hurting at the pump, there are also rising concerns for industries that rely on fuel and oil like trucking, freight, airlines, and plastic manufacturers. 

To account for high prices, some in sectors have responded by ramping up prices further down the supply chain to account for costs, putting even more of a burden on consumers to pay for everyday items.

But as Americans struggle with sky-high gas prices at a time of record inflation, recently released earnings reports show that many of the world’s largest oil companies thrived in the first quarter of 2022.

ExxonMobil more than doubled its earnings from the same period last year, reporting a net profit of $5.5 billion. Meanwhile, Chevron logged its best quarterly earnings in almost a decade, and Shell had its highest earnings ever.

According to a new analysis conducted by the Center for American Progress, the top five oil companies — including the three mentioned above —  earned over 300% more in profits this quarter than during the same time last year.

“In fact, these five companies’ first-quarter profits alone are equivalent to almost 28 percent of what Americans spent to fill up their gas tanks in the same time period,” the report noted.

Per Insider, for at least four of those companies, that growth marks a tremendous increase in profits from even before the pandemic.

Lawmakers Ramp-Up Efforts to Reduce Prices

To address these startling disparities, federal lawmakers have moved in recent weeks to increase pressure on oil companies and take steps to lower prices.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bill proposed by Rep. Katie Porter (D-Ca.) that aims to reduce gas prices. The legislation, called The Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act, would give the president the authority to issue an Energy Emergency Declaration that would be effective for up to 30 days with the possibility of being renewed.

In that emergency period, it would be illegal for anyone to increase gas or home energy fuel prices to a level that is exploitative or “unconscionably excessive.” 

The proposal would also give the Federal Trade Commission the power to investigate and manage instances of price gouging from larger companies and give state authorities the ability to enforce price-gouging violations in civil courts.

The bill, which has already seen widespread opposition from Republicans and extensive lobbying from pro-oil interest groups, faces an uphill battle in the 50-50 split Senate.

During debate on the act Thursday, Rep. Porter delivered an impassioned speech accusing oil companies of driving their record profits by using their market power to unfairly increase prices.

“The oil and gas industry currently has more than 9,000 permits to drill for oil on federal land, but they are deliberately keeping production low to please their investors and increase their short-term profits,” she said. “Even when the price of crude oil falls, oil and gas companies have refused to pass those savings on to consumers.”

“Let me be clear: price gouging is anti-capitalist,” Porter continued. “It exploits a lack of competition, which is a hallmark of capitalism. It is an effort to juice corporate profits at the expense of customers. Energy markets are reeling because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Big oil companies, however, are using this temporary chaos to cover up their abuse.”

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (Vox) (NPR)

Continue Reading

U.S.

Lincoln College to Close for Good After COVID and Ransomware Attack Ruin Finances

Published

on

Last year, 1,043 schools in the U.S. were the victim of ransomware attacks, including 26 colleges or universities, according to an analysis by Emsisoft.


One of the Only Historically Black Colleges in the Midwest Goes Down

After 157 years of educating mostly Black students in Illinois, Lincoln College will close its doors for good on Friday.

The college made the announcement last month, citing financial troubles caused by the coronavirus pandemic and a ransomware attack in December.

Enrollment dropped during the pandemic and the administration had to make costly investments in technology and campus safety measures, according to a statement from the school.

A shrinking endowment put additional pressure on the college’s budget.

The ransomware attack, which the college has said originated from Iran, thwarted admissions activities and hindered access to all institutional data. Systems for recruitment, retention, and fundraising were completely inoperable at a time when the administration needed them most.

In March, the college paid the ransom, which it has said amounted to less than $100,000. But according to Lincoln’s statement, subsequent projections showed enrollment shortfalls so significant the college would need a transformational donation or partnership to make it beyond the present semester.

The college put out a request for $50 million in a last-ditch effort to save itself, but no one came forward to provide it.

A GoFundMe aiming to raise $20 million for the college only collected $2,452 as of Tuesday.

Students and Employees Give a Bittersweet Goodbye

“The loss of history, careers, and a community of students and alumni is immense,” David Gerlach, the college’s president, said in a statement.

Lincoln counts nearly 1,000 enrolled students, and those who did not graduate this spring will leave the institution without degrees.

Gerlach has said that 22 colleges have worked with Lincoln to accept the remaining students, including their credits, tuition prices, and residency requirements.

“I was shocked and saddened by that news because of me being a freshman, so now I have to find someplace for me to go,” one student told WMBD News after the closure was announced.

When a group of students confronted Gerlach at his office about the closure, he responded with an emotional speech.

“I have been fighting hard to save this place,” he said. “But resources are resources. We’ve done everything we possibly could.”

On April 30, alumni were invited back to the campus to revisit the highlights of their college years before the institution closed.

On Saturday, the college held its final graduation ceremony, where over 200 students accepted their diplomas and Quentin Brackenridge performed the Lincoln Alma Mater.

Last year, 1,043 schools in the U.S. were the victim of ransomware attacks, including 26 colleges or universities, according to an analysis by Emsisoft.

See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (Herald Review) (CNN)

Continue Reading

U.S.

U.S. Tops One Million Coronavirus Deaths, WHO Estimates 15 Million Worldwide

Published

on

India’s real COVID death toll stands at about 4.7 million, ten times higher than official data, the WHO estimated.


One Million Dead

The United States officially surpassed one million coronavirus deaths Wednesday, 26 months after the first death was reported in late February of 2020.

Experts believe that figure is likely an undercount, since there are around 200,000 excess deaths, though some of those may not be COVID-related.

The figure is the equivalent of the population of San Jose, the tenth-largest city in the U.S., vanishing in just over two years. To put the magnitude in visual perspective, NECN published a graphic illustrating what one million deaths looks like.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the White House predicted between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans would die from the coronavirus in a best-case scenario.

By February 2021, over half a million Americans had died of COVID.

The coronavirus has become the third leading cause of death in the U.S. behind heart disease and cancer.

The pandemic’s effects go beyond its death toll. Around a quarter of a million children have lost a caregiver to the virus, including about 200,000 who lost one or both parents. Every COVID-related death leaves an estimated nine people grieving.

The virus has hit certain industries harder than others, with food and agriculture, warehouse operations and manufacturing, and transportation and construction seeing especially high death rates.

People’s mental health has also been affected, with a study in January of five Western countries including the U.S. finding that 13% of people reported symptoms of PTSD attributable to actual or potential contact with the virus.

Fifteen Million Dead

On Thursday, the World Health Organization estimated that nearly 15 million people have died from the pandemic worldwide, a dramatic revision from the 5.4 million previously reported in official statistics.

Between January 2020 and the end of last year, the WHO estimated that between 13.3 million and 16.6 million people died either due to the coronavirus directly or because of factors somehow attributed to the pandemic’s impact on health systems, such as cancer patients who were unable to seek treatment when hospitals were full of COVID patients.

Based on that range, scientists arrived at an approximate total of 14.9 million.

The new estimate shows a 13% increase in deaths than is usually expected for a two-year period.

“This may seem like just a bean-counting exercise, but having these WHO numbers is so critical to understanding how we should combat future pandemics and continue to respond to this one,” Dr. Albert Ko, an infectious diseases specialist at the Yale School of Public Health who was not linked to the WHO research, told the Associated Press.

Most of the deaths occurred in Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

According to the WHO, India counts the most deaths by far with 4.7 million, ten times its official number.

See what others are saying: (NBC) (U.S. News and World Report) (Scientific American)

Continue Reading