Quick followups

The woman who accused a man of threatening her life in Central Park: FIRED.

By the way, the victim of that accusation was Christian Cooper.

Cooper has written stories for Marvel Comics Presents, which often feature Ghost Rider and Vengeance. He has also edited a number of X-Men collections ,and introduced the first gay male character, Yoshi Mishima, in a Star Trek comic. Previously he was president of the Harvard Ornithological Club, in the 1980s, and is currently a senior biomedical editor at Health Science Communications.

Sounds like the kind of guy — you know, Harvard graduate, bird-watcher, writer for comic books, science editor — who would wander the parks terrorizing innocent white women.

The cops who participated in the murder of a man on the Minneapolis streets: FIRED. Four of ’em.

The Minneapolis mayor had a few words to say.

“Being black in America should not be a death sentence,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a Tuesday press conference. “For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a black man’s neck. Five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you’re supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic, human sense. What happened on Chicago and 38th last night is awful. It was traumatic. It serves as a reminder of how far we have to go.”


  1. mastmaker says

    What you need is a system in place to make sure that cops who are ‘dishonorably’ discharged are never employed in a power- and/or weapon-weilding position or public-facing position. They are as entitled to employment as anyone else, but not one where they can cause further harm.

  2. says

    The cops will go into the corrupt cop shuffle program. They’ll be working at some other police department in a year, if they aren’t reinstated.

  3. unclefrogy says

    if within the next few weeks there are not indictments of unlawful death for those occifers nothing will have changed yet.
    uncle frogy

  4. smellyoldgit says

    Yup, my wager is on no charges – followed by a Pontiffesque pedo shuffle – by which time we’ll all have forgotten whilst we wait for the next horror.

  5. chrislawson says


    — These officers being fired is a step up. It’s not nearly enough and I’m definitely not advocating for accepting firing as sufficient. But unfortunately, even sacking murderous police is a major improvement on SOP.

  6. xohjoh2n says

    I note that none of y’all (brit here, making a pointed statement) have mentioned even once the police’s own witness statements about what happened…

    I mean, there is blatant murder, on video, and there is blatant attempts to hide the issue from their PR stuff, which you have yet to specifically mention.

  7. chrislawson says

    PZ, I’m definitely on Christian Cooper’s side here, but I don’t think you can decide if a man is a threat based on his interests in science, comics, and birdwatching.

  8. chigau (違う) says

    chrislawson #9
    We can be quite sure that a man is a threat if he is black a bird watcher.

  9. says

    @9 chrislawson
    Think about this for a second. If he was a white guy who “science, comics, and birdwatching”, would things have been the same? Of course not, but the shitty thing is that these things were invoked to reinforce his character. No white man would have to do that.

  10. says

    Sounds like the kind of guy — you know, Harvard graduate, bird-watcher, writer for comic books, science editor — who would wander the parks terrorizing innocent white women.

    I definitely agree that Mr. Cooper appears to be an awesome guy and I wouldn’t mind going bird watching with him one day, but Amy Cooper’s behaviour wouldn’t have been any better if he’d been a homeless drunk who spells bird with a T.

  11. lasius says

    The cops spectacularly failed in their job and should be fired at the very least. But am I the only one uncomfortable that we are happy that an employer can just fire an employee for non-job related misconduct? Ms. Cooper should of course be charged for false reporting, but I don’t think her employer should have any say in the matter.

  12. John Morales says

    lasius, damaging a firm’s reputation is arguably job-related, and actually forms part of many terms of employment.

  13. lochaber says

    Thanks to the proliferation of “right to work” laws on top of just plain ole bigotry, in many states it’s perfectly legal to fire someone for simply being LGBT. And even in those states that have anti-discriminatory legislation, well, good luck proving it…

    I’m not terribly bothered by people getting fired over blatant displays of bigotry.

  14. Kagehi says

    Sadly.. There was legislation passed, not sure on what level, but I got the impression that it effects a lot of law enforcement, which basically states, “Its illegal to black list a cop.” This, during the time my brother worked at the job, led one guy who was found to have killed someone without cause to literally just go from the job he was fired from to a new precinct, a county or so away, and get rehired, by some truly asshole chief of police, who didn’t, apparently, see a problem with cops killing people wrongfully, or using excessive force. When these guys serve jail time, and there is a clear understanding that their carriers are actually over, then I will be happy. Otherwise… firing them is almost meaningless, if they can just be rehired some place else.

  15. wsierichs says

    Firing someone is a serious thing because it can cause major damage to someone’s life. It should not be done just because someone says or does something stupid outside of work. In this case, the woman in Central Park violated a law or ordinance, and when someone pointed it out, instead of complying with the law, she called the police and told a lie that, in practical terms, put the man’s life in serious danger. How can people she works with ever trust her, especially if they’re non-white? Bosses and co-workers would always have to worry that if they cross her, she will lie about them and try to sabotage their careers. And how could customers trust her? It’s possible that she’s already done such things, and if not, if she does something suspicious to a customer in the future, that could be used against her and the company in a lawsuit. Her actions make it impossible for the company to let her hold her job.

    What bothers me is that she should have been arrested, or at least cited, once the police realized she filed a false report. It’s possible that the police could not be certain of that at the time, but now that’s out, some prosecutor should slap a charge against her. If there’s justice, a judge or magistrate will note how she threatened the man’s life and give her some jail time to indicate how serious her offense was. In theory, and in morality, she should face a serious charge for really putting his life in danger, but I’m not sure a prosecutor or judge would want to admit the well-established fact that calling police on a black man, saying he’s violent or threatening, is attempted murder. It’s possible that a civil suit could be successful in making that case, and putting a big damage award on her would be one way to discourage people from pulling this garbage.