Gayle King has said it’s “open season” on black men in response to two separate videos of racist behaviour, which circulated online Tuesday (26 May).
One video saw a woman named Amy Cooper call the police to say she was being “threatened” by “an African American man” after a birdwatcher in New York‘s Central Park asked her to observe rules about keeping her dog on the leash. She was eventually fired by her employer.
George Floyd, who lost consciousness and died, can be heard saying, “I can’t breathe.”
US morning news anchor King was visibly shaken when discussing the separate incidents on CBS This Morning, stating: “As the daughter of a black man and the mother of a black man, this is really too much for me today.”
She said she was “rattled” by the video of Cooper, who she says was “practically strangling her dog to make these false accusations against another black man”, as well as the Minneapolis one in which “we’re watching a man die”.
King added: “I don’t even know what to do or how to handle this at this particular time. I know that this is… I am speechless. I am really, really speechless about what we’re seeing in television this morning. It feels to me like an open season and it’s not sometimes a safe place to be in this country for black men and today it’s too much for me.
“Once again, I say thank goodness that there’s a videotape,” she said.
Cooper admitted that her actions were “unacceptable”, and has since been placed on administrative leave from her position at Franklin Templeton, an investment management company.
She also confirmed that she had returned her dog to a shelter after viewers condemned her handling of the pet during the confrontation.
Meanwhile, Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey confirmed the termination of the four police officers involved in the incident.
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