Videos of White Woman Calling Police on Black Birdwatcher, Fatal Arrest of Black Man Prompt Widespread Outrage
Two disturbing videos capturing incidents against black men are provoking outrage across the country today.
Two disturbing videos capturing incidents against black men are causing outrage across the country.
One of the videos, which has now gone viral, shows a white Wall Street executive confronting and calling police on a black man who asked her to leash her dog in New York's Central Park.
"I'm going to tell them there's an African-American man threatening my life," the woman, later identified as Amy Cooper, can be heard saying.
Christian Cooper, an avid bird watcher and black man who is of no relation to the white woman, began recording the encounter in the Ramble, a woodland area of the park where it's mandatory to keep dogs on a leash because they can frighten or kill the birds.
Amy Cooper called 911, jerking hard on her dog's collar as he struggles.
"There is an African-American man. I am in Central Park. He is recording me and threatening myself and my dog." Suddenly, her voice changes, as if she is in imminent danger. "I am being threatened by a man in the Ramble. Please send the cops immediately!"
After an outcry on social media, Cooper returned her dog to the animal shelter she adopted him from, was fired from her job at the Franklin Templeton investment firm and issued a public apology.
"I want to publicly apologize to everyone," she said. "I am not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way."
The other video was taken in Minneapolis, and shows a police officer with his knee on the neck of a black man who later died.
"I can't breathe," the man, identified as George Floyd, says repeatedly. The officer knelt on his neck for at least seven minutes, before he became unresponsive. "He's not even moving," a bystander says. "Get off his neck, bro."
Police say Floyd was suspected of forgery. The incident is being compared with the 2014 death of Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold by New York cops during an arrest.
The four officers involved in Floyd's arrest were fired, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced Tuesday afternoon.
The two videos brought "CBS This Morning" anchor Gayle King close to tears.
"I am speechless," King said. "I am really, really speechless about what we’re seeing on television this morning. It feels to me like an open season and it’s not sometimes a safe place to be in this country for black men and today it’s too much for me.”
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