Christian Cooper accepts apology from woman who called police on him in Central Park
© Christian Cooper

Birdwatcher Christian Cooper said Thursday that he accepted the apology of the woman who threatened to tell the police an “African American man” was threatening her after he asked her to leash her dog in Central Park.

The woman, Amy Cooper, issued an apology saying, “I was the one who was acting inappropriately” and that “I hope that a few mortifying seconds in a lifetime of 40 years will not define me in his eyes.”

“I do accept her apology. It’s a first step. I think she’s got to do some reflection on what happened,” Cooper said on “The View” Thursday. “Up until the moment when she made that statement and made that phone call, it was just a conflict between a birder and a dog-walker. And then she took it to a very dark place, and I think she’s got to sort of examine why and how that happened.”

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Cooper added that he wanted to “move it a little bit beyond her, because it’s not really about her and her poor judgment in a snap second. It’s about the underlying current of racism and racial perception that has been going on for centuries, and that permeates this city and this country that she tapped into.”

Cooper made similar comments to NPR earlier in the week, saying the woman’s reaction was “without question racist” but that he was unsure whether it “necessarily has to define her completely” and questioned whether the backlash she has received was “really proportionate.” She has since been fired from her job at investment firm Franklin Templeton.