Days after footage of a racist encounter in New York City went viral, the man targeted in the incident has urged viewers to stop hurling death threats at his accuser.
Speaking with CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday night, Christian Cooper, a black man, condemned reports that people had threatened the life of Amy Cooper (no relation), the white woman shown in the footage.
“That is wholly inappropriate and abhorrent and should stop immediately,” he said of the allegations.
The video shows Amy Cooper threatening to call the police on Christian Cooper, after he asked her to control her unleashed dog in a section of the park where leashes are required.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she said in the video.
The footage received a considerable backlash, with viewers noting the racist overtone of her threat: that police would, by default, act with prejudice against a black man.
Amy Cooper was later fired and relinquished her dog. She also issued an apology, saying she isn’t racist, merely that she “reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions”.
He acknowledged the the apology as “sincere,” but added “I’m not sure that in that apology she recognises that while she may not be or consider herself a racist, that particular act was definitely racist.”
On reports of the threats, he added that it was strange that the people who objected to her attempting to “bring death by cop down on my head” would “turn around and try to put death threats on her head.
“Where is the logic in that?”
It was not the first time Christian Cooper expressed sentiments in that vein.
“I’m not excusing the racism,” he told the New York Times in a prior interview.
“But I don’t know if her life needed to be torn apart.”
You can watch the CNN chat below: