A New York woman dubbed the “Ultimate Karen” has been placed on leave and forced to “voluntarily surrender” her pet after being captured calling the cops on a “threatening” black man who merely asked that she leash her dog.
Shared on social media on Monday and set in Central Park, the video opens with a visibly-upset woman walking toward the camera, asking the man filming to “please stop.” The situation quickly escalates when he refuses, with the woman vowing to call the police and “tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”
“There is a man, an African American… he is recording me and threatening me and my dog,” she is heard telling the 911 dispatcher, becoming frantic as she shouts: “I am being threatened by a man!”
The clip went viral after it was shared online by Melody Cooper, a writer and director for HBO whose brother, Christian, captured the footage. At no point in the video is the woman threatened, with Cooper explaining the whole incident began after her brother “politely [asked]” that the woman put her dog on a leash – as the park mandates.
Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Bramble in NY’s Central Park, where it is clearly posted on signs that dogs MUST be leashed at all times, and someone like my brother (an avid birder) politely asks her to put her dog on the leash. pic.twitter.com/3YnzuATsDm
— Melody Cooper (@melodyMcooper) May 25, 2020
While Cooper says the woman eventually leashed her pet and left without incident, the internet was not so willing to forgive and forget, with netizens quickly “doxxing” the dog-walker – or outing her identity online – as countless others lambasted the woman across social media. Some deemed her the quintessential “Karen” – the type of middle-aged suburbanite woman who regularly demands to speak to the manager – while others shredded her for “racism,” arguing her fraudulent call to the police put Cooper’s life in danger.
I am so deeply disturbed by this video and how callously she was willing to put your brother’s life at risk. How quickly the racism came out. Tons of non-black birders have asked ppl to leash dogs without being threatened with cops. Tell him the NYC birding community is with him!
— Corinne Low (@femonomics) May 25, 2020
This lady is Whats wrong With the world. The ultimate Karen & I feel so bad for her dog.
— Deanna RapaNAUGHTY (@deannnnamarieee) May 25, 2020
Many simply took pity on the woman’s “poor dog,” however, which she roughly jerked around by the collar throughout the controversial video, prompting one critic to observe: “When you are too invested in bigotry that you willingly choke your own dog.”
On top of everything, she’s making up racist lies about him “threatening” her dog while she’s literally strangling it on camera jfc pic.twitter.com/Wx1UkOOKYb
— Hilary Agro 🍄 (@hilaryagro) May 26, 2020
Shouldn’t she be arrested for animal abuse for choking her poor dog?
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) May 25, 2020
Ever-resourceful, the internet hive mind was apparently able to pinpoint the animal shelter from which the dog was adopted, prompting the rescue service to also issue a statement noting that the woman had “voluntarily surrendered the dog” while the park episode is “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. As of this evening, the owner has voluntarily surrendered the dog in question to our rescue while this matter is being addressed. 1/2
— Abandoned Angels (@NYCockerRescue) May 26, 2020
Some netizens took things to the next level, even reaching out to the woman’s purported employer, investment firm Franklin Templeton. While the company did not confirm the woman’s name – Amy Cooper, according to netizens (no relation to Melody or Christian) – it did issue a statement on Twitter noting that an employee had been “put on administrative leave” following an unspecified “incident.”
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