Photo Credit: Frypie
Black Birdwatcher Falsely Accused Of Assaulting White Woman In Central Park Gets National Geographic TV Series
Back in 2020, Black birdwatcher Christian Cooper garnered national attention after he recorded a video in New York City’s Central Park of a white woman calling the police and making false claims about him threatening her and her dog. Cooper was birdwatching in the park when the woman harassed him. The video went viral in the hours following the incident and happened the same day as the arrest and murder of George Floyd.
Two years after the event, he will have his own TV show on the world-famous National Geographic, the network announced last week. According to Nat Geo, Cooper will host a new series for the channel called Extraordinary Birder, where viewers will be thrust into Cooper’s “wild, wonderful and unpredictable world of birds.”
“Whether braving stormy seas in Alaska for puffins, trekking into rainforests in Puerto Rico for parrots, or scaling a bridge in Manhattan for a peregrine falcon, he does whatever it takes to learn about these extraordinary feathered creatures and show us the remarkable world in the sky above,” National Geographic said in a statement.
The channel has yet to announce a premiere date for the new series, but Cooper, who said he’s been bird watching since he was 10, told The New York Times that when Nat Geo approached him with the idea, he was “all in.”
The Central Park birdwatching incident happened on May 25, 2020. It started when Amy Cooper (no relation), was walking her dog in a section of New York City’s Central Park known as the Ramble while Christian was birdwatching in the same area. Seeing that Amy Cooper’s dog was unleashed in the area, Christian Cooper asked her to leash her dog.
Amy Cooper refused his request. When the woman beckoned the dog toward the Black birdwatcher with a dog treat, she yelled “Don’t you touch my dog!” Then, Christian decided to record Amy. In response, she called 9-1-1, telling them “There is an African American man—I am in Central Park—he is recording me and threatening myself and my dog. Please send the cops immediately!” By the time New York City Police Department officers responded, both parties had left.
After the video of the incident went viral, Amy Cooper was fired from her job. On July 6, 2020, the Manhattan District Attorney announced that she had been charged with filing a false police report, a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to one year in jail.