An unsettling video went viral on Monday (May 25) that showed an encounter between a white woman and a black man in New York City’s Central Park. Melody Cooper uploaded the clip to her Twitter page, a video that was taken by her brother, Christian Cooper. According to Melody, Christian is an avid bird watcher so he likes to frequent parks. While at Central Park, he saw a woman who coincidentally carries the same last name, Amy Cooper, walking her dog. Christian told Amy that dogs need to be on a leash, per the signs in the area, and that’s when Amy reportedly became unhinged.

White Woman Pretends To Be In Distress, Calls Police On Black Man In Viral Video
Dia Dipasupil / Staff / Getty Images

“Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Bramble in NY’s Central Park, where it is clearly posted on signs that dogs MUST be leashed at all times, and someone like my brother (an avid birder) politely asks her to put her dog on the leash,” Melody wrote in the caption to the video. In order to protect himself during the exchange, Christian begins filming. Amy tells him to stop, and when he doesn’t and asks her to back away from him, she calls the police.

This is where things take a turn. Amy Cooper not only tells Christian that she’s calling the New York Police Department, but she lets him know that she intends to tell them that she’s being threatened by an African-American man—and she fulfills her promise. Christian records her on the phone as she began to act as if she’s terrified and in distress, even changing the tone of her voice to make it sound as if she’s moments away from being attacked.

According to TMZ, the NYPD did respond to the call of a “possible assault,” but by the time officers arrived, both parties had already left the scene. Meanwhile, during the incident, Amy—who has been dubbed “Central Park Karen“—is so flustered that she pulls at her dog’s collar so tightly that the pup was in distress. TMZ also reported that Amy adopted the dog back in 2018 from the Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue group and following the encounter, Amy surrendered the dog back to the organization. Watch the video below.