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

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  • 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

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Donald Trump and Eldest Three Children Hit With Fraud Lawsuit From New York AG

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AG Letitia James says that the former president “falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself.” 


Lawsuit Filed Against Trump 

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced on Wednesday that she filed a civil lawsuit against former president Donald Trump and his three eldest children over allegations that they fraudulently inflated asset valuations within the Trump Organization.

Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump are all listed alongside their father in the lawsuit. Executives Jeffrey McConney and Allen Weisselberg, the latter of whom recently pled guilty to tax crimes, are also listed alongside other Trump businesses. 

“Donald Trump, with the help of his children…and senior executives at the Trump Organization, falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to induce banks to lend money to the Trump Organization on more favorable terms than would otherwise have been available to the company, to satisfy continuing loan covenants, to induce insurers to provide insurance coverage for higher limits and at lower premiums, and to gain tax benefits, among other things,”  a press release announcing the lawsuit claimed. 

The Attorney General’s office claims that between 2011 and 2021, Trump and the Trump Organization made 200 false and misleading claims about asset values on annual financial statements.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in a State Supreme Court in Manhattan. 

“The complaint demonstrates that Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and to cheat the system, thereby cheating all of us,” James said while announcing the complaint. 

Her office is seeking to permanently ban Trump and his children from serving as an officer or director in any New York corporation and to bar Trump and his organization from entering into any New York real estate acquisitions for five years. The office is also seeking to recover $250 million in penalty payments, among other forms of relief. 

 The Office of the Attorney General has also referred the matter to the federal attorneys in New York and to the IRS for criminal investigation. 

“There aren’t two sets of laws for people in this nation: former presidents must be held to the same standards as everyday Americans,” James added in a statement on social media. 

“Trump’s crimes are not victimless,” she continued. “When the well-connected and powerful break the law to get more money than they are entitled to, it reduces resources available to working people, small businesses, and taxpayers.”

Trump Allegedly Inflated Key Assets

According to James’ release, Trump “made known through Mr. Weisselberg that he wanted his net worth on his statements to increase every year.”

“And the statements were the vehicle by which his net worth was fraudulently inflated by billions of dollars year after year,” the release continued. 

Among the assets Trump and his organization allegedly inflated was the Trump Tower Triplex, an apartment Trump allegedly claimed was 30,000 square feet when it is just around 11,000 square feet. Because of its ballooned size, the property was valued at $327 million in 2015, roughly three times as much as the sole apartment in New York City to ever sell for over $100 million at the time. 

For further comparison, the highest sale for a listing in Trump Tower at the time was only $16 million. 

Trump also allegedly claimed Mar-a-Lago was valued as high as $739 million based on the “false premise” that the property could be developed and sold for residential use. The lawsuit claims that Trump actually signed deeds donating those rights, limiting the property’s use to a social club. James and her office claim its value would fall closer to $75 million. 

Inflated Clauations Cannot Be “Excused”

“The inflated asset valuations in the Statements cannot be brushed aside or excused as merely the result of exaggeration or good faith estimation about which reasonable real estate professionals may differ,”  the lawsuit states, adding that instead, they are the result of improper methodology intentionally meant to falsely boost Trump’s net worth. 

The investigation into Trump’s alleged fraud began nearly three years ago, and the former president has repeatedly called it a politically motivated witch hunt. His attorney, Alina Habba, doubled down on that rhetoric in a statement Wednesday. 

“Today’s filing is neither focused on the facts nor the law – rather, it is solely focused on advancing the Attorney General’s political agenda,” Habba said. “We are confident that our judicial system will not stand for this unchecked abuse of authority, and we look forward to defending our client against each and every one of the Attorney General’s meritless claims.”

For his part, Trump has blasted the lawsuit on Truth Social, calling James a “fraud” and a “crime-fighting disaster.”

Trump previously tried to impede the probe but was ultimately ordered by a judge to sit for a deposition and turn over subpoenaed documents. Reports say he pled the fifth hundreds of times during his deposition. 

See what others are saying: (Bloomberg) (The Washington Post) (Reuters)

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Hurricane Fiona Causes “Catastrophic” Damage in Puerto Rico, Leaving Many Without Power

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While power has been restored to some, more than a million remain without it as continued rainfall, flooding, and landslides are expected to cause further damage across the island.


Hurricane Fiona Wreaks Havoc

Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico Sunday, bringing heavy rains, flooding, and landslides, while also knocking out power for the entire island and killing at least one person.

Photos and videos posted on social media show floodwaters consuming major streets and engulfing cars. Some pictures show an entire bridge flooded, making it impassible. Other footage shows a different bridge entirely uprooted and a metal barrier ripped away from the road and floating down a river of floodwater.

Officials have said conditions are still too dangerous to fully evaluate the extent of the crisis. In remarks to the public, Puerto Rico’s governor, Pedro Pierluisi, described the damage as “catastrophic.”

He asserted that the storm has been one of the most significant since Hurricane Maria — which hit the island almost exactly 5 years ago to the day — killing more than 3,000 people, leaving many without power for months, and causing destruction that the island is still recovering from.

Pierluisi noted that Puerto Rico has received over 30 inches of rain and that some areas have even gotten more rain than during Hurricane Maria. As of Monday afternoon, the National Gaurd has led 30 rescue operations so far, saving more than 1,000 stranded residents in 25 municipalities, according to the governor.

Pierluisi also added that more than 2,000 people were in the island’s 128 shelters, with officials further saying there is plenty of shelter space for those who need it. On Sunday, President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico, which will allow federal agencies to coordinate disaster relief.

Continued Issues As Storm Rages On

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s water authority has confirmed that just over 70% of the island is still without water. According to poweroutage.us, more than 1.3 million customers were still without power as of Monday morning.

The power company LUMA also stated that electricity had been restored to around 100,000 customers over the course of Sunday night, though it previously warned that the full restoration of power could take several days as the storm has created “incredibly challenging” conditions.

While Hurricane Fiona has passed through Puerto Rico, having now made landfall in the Dominican Republic, officials and experts say that heavy rains and further flooding are still to be expected for the next few days.

The National Weather Service has warned that “life-threatening and catastrophic flooding” as well as mudslides and landslides are expected to continue across the island. As a result, Pierluisi has urged Puerto Ricans Monday to remain home and in shelters so that officials can continue to respond to others in need.

He also noted that the areas most impacted by the hurricane include the southern part of the island, the southwest, and the mountains.

After moving through the Dominican Republic, Hurricane Fiona is expected to head towards Turks and Caicos Tuesday. The National Hurricane Center has said that the storm will continue to grow and by Wednesday, it is set to become a major hurricane — which means a Category 3 or higher.

See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (The Washington Post) (CNN

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Government Aid Cut Child Poverty in Half During Pandemic, Data Shows

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The reduction occurred similarly across geography, race, family type, and citizenship status.


Largest Drop in Half a Century

The United States’s child poverty rate sank to the lowest level on record last year, primarily thanks to pandemic relief measures and other government programs, according to an analysis of census data released Tuesday.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s supplementary poverty measure, which accounts for safety net programs and tax credits as well as regional differences in the cost of living.

From around 11% in 2019, the percentage of kids living below the poverty line fell to 9.7% in 2020 and 5.2% the year after that.

In just two years, nearly 5.5 million kids were lifted from poverty, marking an almost 60% drop in the child poverty rate.

The Center’s researchers gave most credit to the federal government’s numerous interventions in the economy, from stimulus payments and the expanded child tax credit to eviction moratoriums and expanded unemployment insurance.

Without government intervention, poverty in 2020 would have experienced its second-largest recorded increase, the Center claimed, but instead, it underwent the largest single-year decline in over half a century.

Especially impactful was the expanded child tax credit, which sent up to $300 per child to households with children every month between July and December 2021.

According to the analysis, this policy alone pulled nearly three million kids out of poverty.

But the tax credit’s expansion expired at the end of the year despite Democrats’ efforts to prolong it with Biden’s signature Build Back Better bill, which was blocked by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who reportedly told colleagues he was concerned that families might use the payments to buy drugs.

Poverty Before COVID

Child poverty has fallen by 59% since 1993, when it sat at around 28%, according to another analysis published Sunday by The New York Times and the nonpartisan group Child Trends.

They found that the decline occurred across all 50 states and D.C., as well as in different levels of poverty.

It similarly affected nearly all subgroups of children, — white, Black, Asian and Hispanic, single-parent and two-parent, immigrant and non-immigrant.

The causes driving the pre-pandemic decline included general economic improvement — low unemployment, a higher labor force participation rate among single mothers, and growing state minimum wages — but the researchers pinned government welfare programs as the dominant factor.

They specifically mentioned the earned income tax credit, social security, unemployment insurance, and nutrition and housing assistance.

Despite the positive trend, more than eight million children still live below the poverty line, and that number excludes those who live just above it but still struggle to meet basic needs.

The current poverty line sits around $29,000 for a family of four in a location with typical living costs.

Moreover, disparities still persist, with Black and Latino children about three times as likely as their white peers to be poor.

See what others are saying: (Vox) (The New York Times) (The Washington Post)

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