Press Releases

CAIR-NY Condemns Racist Incident and 911 Call in Central Park

(NEW YORK, NY, 5/27/2020) — The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned the racist incident against Christian Cooper, an African American man, in Central Park.

A viral video shows that a white woman is seen with her off-leash dog at Central Park in an area requiring dogs to be leashed. Cooper allegedly asked the woman to leash her dog, to which she responds by threatening him with a call to police. In the video she is repeatedly heard saying that an “African American man” was “threatening her life,” though Cooper had explicitly asked her not to approach him and had made no threats against her. The false police report was clearly racially motivated and lacked any substance.

See: Video shows racially charged rant, 911 call over man allegedly asking woman to leash dog in NY park

In a statement, CAIR-NY Litigation Director Afaf Nasher said:

“The woman in the park seemed to rely upon the idea that law enforcement would treat Mr. Cooper harshly if she, a white woman, alleged that an African American man was threatening her. It’s repulsive to see an individual weaponize systemic discrimination in this manner. CAIR-NY is glad that Mr. Cooper is safe. We hope that this incident highlights the fact that racism often motivates false police reporting against the black community, and ask that this is taken into account structurally in the manner which police address reported crimes.”

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: Ahmed Mohamed, CAIR-NY Litigation Director, 646-481-2103,; Afaf Nasher, Esq. Executive Director, CAIR-NY, 917-669-4006,