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A black birdwatcher asked a white woman to leash her dog in Central Park. She called the police instead.Christian Cooper was birdwatching deep in the woods of Manhattan's Central Park when he noticed a rogue cocker spaniel digging up the shrubbery around him. Many of the birds he spots come for the dense plants, so he approached the dog's owner early on Monday with a request: Could she leash up the canine, as the park rules required? Amy Cooper said she would be calling the police instead. "I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life," the white woman told him, pulling out her iPhone and dialing 911. Less than 24 hours later after a video of their exchange went online, she has lost her dog, her anonymity, and temporarily, her job - the latest incident in a long, too-familiar pattern of white people calling the police on black people for any number of everyday activities: Barbecuing. Playing golf. Swimming at a pool. Time to add a new outdoor pastime to that list: Birdwatching. "I don't think there's an African American person in America who hasn't experienced something like this at some point," Christian Cooper, a 57-year-old science editor, told The Washington Post in an interview. "I don't shy away from confronting the scofflaw when I see it. Otherwise, the park would be unusable - not just to us birders but to anybody who enjoys the beauty." Christian Cooper - who is not related to Amy - had gotten up early on Memorial Day to head to the Ramble, a heavily wooded section of Central Park designed to resemble a wild garden. With its rocky outcrops and thick canopy, the area makes for an especially inviting stopover for birds on their northward migration, he said. An avid birder since childhood, Cooper had been making daily trips in recent weeks to peek at the wildfowl stopping by for some refuge from the urban sprawl. In recent weeks,...