Gayle King Says It’s ‘Open Season’ on Black Men After NYC, Minneapolis Incidents

Gayle King Address CBS This Morning Changes (Credit: CBS)

CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King was left “speechless” Tuesday while addressing two viral incidents involving black men.

Both videos shocked the nation and have prompted calls for change. In one video, a white woman by the name of Amy Cooper is seen calling police and falsely claiming “there’s an African American man threatening my life.”

Cooper had been walking her dog in a popular bird watching area of Central Park where leashes are required, when Christian Cooper, who is black, asked her to put the dog on a leash. Christian spoke with NBC New York and said Amy refused to leash the dog, so he started recording the incident.

“At some point, she decided I’m gonna play the race card, I guess,” Christian told the TV station.

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He stopped recording after Amy finally leashed her dog. By the time officers arrived, Christian had already left. The video sparked outrage on social media on Memorial Day, with people branding Amy a racist and saying she was abusing the dog by yanking it by the neck.

The another video, a police officer in Minneapolis is seen kneeling on a handcuffed black man’s neck during an arrest. The man, who can be heard telling police “I can’t breathe,” lost consciousness and later died.

CBS correspondent Vladimir Duthiers reported on the Central Park incident. After his story aired, King became visibly emotional and said she was rattled.

“As the daughter of a black man and the mother of a black man, this is really too much for me today,” she explained.

“I’m still rattled by this last story and she’s practically strangling her dog to make these false accusations against another black man,” King explained. “I’m still so upset by that last story where the man is handcuffed underneath a car where people are pleading he can’t breathe and we’re watching a man die.”

“I don’t even know what to do or how to handle this at this particular time,” King admitted. “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.”

After the Central Park video went viral, Amy was put on administrative leave by her employer, investment management company Franklin Templeton. On Tuesday afternoon, she was fired.

“Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately. We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton,” the company tweeted.

Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, police described what happened as a medical incident. But WCCO-TV said at a news conference Tuesday morning, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey countered: “I believe what I saw, and what I saw was wrong at every level.”