WATCH: Christian Cooper Speaks On Racist Encounter In Viral Central Park Video
In the days following his Memorial Day encounter in New York City's Central Park with Amy Cooper, a white woman and now fired Franklin Templeton executive, much is being revealed about Christian Cooper, an openly gay Black man whose racist encounter with Amy Cooper (no relation) has since gone viral.
Cooper, was walking her dog Monday morning while Christian Cooper was bird-watching in a wooded area of Central Park called the Ramble. They both told CNN the dispute began because her dog was not on a leash, which is contrary to the Ramble’s rules.
Christian Cooper appeared on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon on Tuesday to discuss Cooper's behavior and whether or not he believes she's a racist.
“Where she went was a racist place. That action was racist. Does that make her a racist? I can’t answer that. Only she can with what she does going forward," said Cooper. "
"Maybe she was trying to gain an advantage. She went there, and she needs to reflect on what she did,” he added.
In a statement to CNN, Amy Cooper reacted to the backlash from the viral video.
“When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not excusable. It’s not defensible. “I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way.”
[My] entire life is being destroyed right now," she added.
Speaking to The New York Times, Cooper said he is "uncomfortable" with the "frenzy" that has surrounded Amy Cooper in recent days: "If our goal is to change the underlying factors, I am not sure that this young woman having her life completely torn apart serves that goal."
You should expect to hear more reactions to Cooper's statement to The New York Times over the next few days. For many in the African-American community, it's the typical reaction that is historically expected of Black victims from white oppressors.
Dr. Marc Lamont Hill isn't accepting Amy Cooper's apology. He explains why here.
Watch Christian Cooper on CNN in the clip below.