As flames spread across Washington and Minnesota, an incident that occurred in Central Park, NYC last week has, understandably, become overshadowed.
Amy Cooper was walking her dog off lead in The Ramble, an area of Central Park where dogs are required to be on lead. A minor rule infringement you may think.
I have been walking a dog in an area controlled by a PSPO – dogs are also required to be on lead and it is a criminal offence to refuse to put a dog on lead here when requested to do so. That request was posted in a notice on all gates. Most were torn down and only one or two other walkers obeyed.
So why does it matter?
Well, needless to say, very few owners have good recall and, at a time when we are all supposed to be keeping at least 6ft away from each other, out of control dogs necessitate owners getting close. This is annoying at any time but could now be life-threatening.
How we react though, is all-important. Amy Cooper was so determined that she was not going to put her dog on lead that she made a false and racially-biased claim to the police. The birdwatcher who had reminded her of her obligation filmed the entire, shocking incident.
Not only is her false allegation shocking, she is so focused on demanding that the birdwatcher stop filming that she pays no attention to her dog. The poor dog is dragged by the throat, suspended at waist level and paddles frantically with his hind feet until he collapses at her feet.
This dog came from a shelter. She “rescued” it.
It remains to be seen whether any legal action will be taken against Amy Cooper, but she has now lost her job – and her dog.
More to the point, just because an owner was too arrogant to obey the rules of the park, this poor dog had to suffer being choked and no doubt frightened, and now has to cope with the whole re-homing process again.
Think on that next time you think that you too are above the law.