The Man Who Took the Unleashed Dog Video: Christian Cooper
A recent viral video shows a woman with a dog off-leash in Central Park who called 911 to claim (falsely) that she was being assaulted by an African-American man. Today, we found out who that man is.
Before we get to him, ICYMI, here's the viral video.
Meet Christian Cooper, a Harvard grad who now works as a biomedical editor at Health Science Communications (according to Harvard's Black Alumni Society's recent FB post).
Mr. Cooper's bio is quite impressive, to say the least:
- Former Marvel Comics editor
- Introduced Star Trek comics' first gay character
- On the Board of Directors for New York City's Audubon Society
- Served on the board of Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
- Is a published author
- currently works as a biomedical editor at Health Science Communications
Some of the comments I've seen about Mr. Cooper on Social Media (actually, they were assumptions) were quite disheartening: "he should have minded his own business" - he was minding his business. That area of Central Park is for bird-watching, not for loose dogs (they can easily scare away the birds). "Why is it okay for him to complain about her breaking the law but it wasn't okay for "Becky" to call the cops on the family grilling?" - because her actions affected his activity; the family grilling wasn't affecting "Becky's" life. "He was probably threatening her prior to the video rolling" - no, he wasn't, but thank you for showing your colors.
To those people who made assumptions, please check yourselves. It's okay to question any video that is shared (yes, it's easy to edit a video to fit a narrative), but it's not okay to make assumptions based on race.
I applaud Mr. Cooper's calm, cool demeanor while dealing with the woman and her dog. Had she just leashed her dog (according to the law) she might still have a job. She, maybe, could have even made a new friend, as Mr. Cooper sounds like a very approachable man.