An African American birdwatcher who recorded a Memorial Day video of a woman calling the police on him questioned whether the public response to her actions was “proportionate."

The birdwatcher, Christian Cooper, told NPR Tuesday evening that what the woman, identified as Amy Cooper, did was “pretty crappy without a doubt.” But he added he wonders if the reaction to his video, posted on the internet, was “really proportionate.”

"I'm not sure that her one minute of poor decisionmaking, bad judgment and, without question, racist response necessarily has to define her completely," Christian Cooper said.


The birdwatcher told the news outlet that the amount of attention his video received was “a little stunning” to him, and he expressed concern and empathy for Amy Cooper.

"It makes me concerned because if it was this stunning for me, I can only imagine what it must have been like for Ms. Cooper," he said, adding, “I know I'm not supposed to feel that way, but, you know, it's got to be harsh.”

Christian Cooper’s video of the incident in question has more than 40 million views on Twitter.

The video sparked outrage as the footage captured shows Amy Cooper calling the police on Christian Cooper after he asked her to leash her dog.

The birdwatcher said he was visiting Central Park’s Ramble when he saw Amy Cooper's dog roaming without a leash in an area where leashes are required.

After she refused to leash her dog, he said he attempted to give the dog treats and started recording the incident.

“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” Amy Cooper can be heard saying in the video, after requesting the recording stop. 

Christian Cooper told NPR that he “was aware of what the threat was” when she called the police.

"She was threatening to bring the machine that has so long ground us black people to powder ... solely on the basis of our black skin, down on my head on the word of, you know, an innocent young white woman,” he said.

Amy Cooper appears to become more frantic in the video while on the phone with the police, though no one in the footage is attacking her. 

The woman called her own actions “unacceptable” in an interview with NBC New York Monday.

"And you know, words are just words and I can't undo what I did. But I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone. Especially to that man, his family," she said. 


The birdwatcher also told CNN’s Don LemonDon Carlton LemonNASCAR's Bubba Wallace: 'relieved' FBI investigation found 'this wasn't what we feared it was' Bubba Wallace dismisses FBI findings: 'It's a straight-up noose' Dave Chappelle addresses George Floyd's death, rips Don Lemon in surprise Netflix special MORE that he thought Cooper’s apology was sincere but called her behavior “definitely racist.”

"I'm not sure that in that apology she recognizes that while she may not be or consider herself a racist, that particular act was definitely racist,” Christian Cooper said.

After the video spread, Amy Cooper was subsequently fired from her job Tuesday at the investment firm Franklin Templeton after initially being put on administrative leave. 

“We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton,” the firm posted on Twitter.

Her dog was “voluntarily surrendered” to the Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, which it said in a statement is where the dog was adopted from a few years ago.