Here is the full statement Jerome Lockett made to an NBC reporter. The one above is an excerpt. The full statement is in Appendix A of the filing linked above:
From: Jerome Lockett Date: May 26, 2020 at 07:09:52 EDT To: "Goldstein, Julie (NBCUniversal)" Cc: "Walker, Hayley (NBCUniversal)" Subject: Re: NBC News / TODAY Show Inquiry
Hey Julie, Thank you for getting back to me. Of course, I wouldn’t mind my statement be put somewhere. The below can be published wherever of your choosing. —————-
I’m a 30 year old African American dog owner living in NYC. I frequently take my dog to Central Park and walk my dog with my friend and his dog (he’s a white man). [Central Park allows dogs off-leash before 9:AM and after 9:PM there are a few parts of the park that don’t allow dogs off-leash, no matter the time, the Ramble being one of them]
My friend tells me about a month ago as we’re approaching the Ramble with our dogs off-leash, “a few days ago there was a dude in their screaming a people to leash their dog. I’m glad that other owner was with me because he’s a really buff dude waving his helmet.”
I make nothing of it because sometimes people tell us to leash our dogs, but we’re just passing through quickly and we don’t allow our dogs to go chasing birds or anything so what’s the barn? Sure it’s a rule, but a rule tons of dogs owners frequently break, especially if we’re just quickly walking through.
Well, a few days later we’re in there and Christian (had no idea his name or that this was the same guy my friend mentioned to me days ago) comes yelling from about 10 yards away “YOU NEED TO LEASH YOUR DOG!!! THEY CAN’T BE OFF-LEASH IN HERE.” We both take a few steps back and my friend ask him if he works for the park and he says no. So we say “sounds good, have a good one.”
And when we turn our back he starts to try and make these noises to call our dogs to him. I yelled, “don’t try and call my dog to you!” He then says, “if you’re gonna do what you want, them I’m not gonna do what I want, but you’re not gonna like it.” Me: What?? Are you threatening me and my dog??
Case 1:21-cv-04692 Document 1 Filed 05/25/21 Page 26 of 30
Christian: *bends down, while gripping his black (Vespa?) helmet attached to his side and starts calling my dog by clapping* and say “come here puppy! Come here!”
I then ran over to him and pushed him away before he got too close to my dog. He then yelled for someone to record it, but the two white men he was with seemed uninterested.
I said “never fucking touch someone’s dog that isn’t threatening you and never threaten me again.” Then I walked away with my dog, my friend and his dogs.
As a black man, I am not scared of another person because their race or ethnicity, but this man IS threatening with his body language and screaming.
I don’t know Amy Cooper at all, I’ve said hello to her because that’s what dog owners do to other owners in the park, but when I saw that video, I thought, I cannot imagine if he approached her the same way how she may have genuinely been afraid for her life. She may not be like me willing to physically defend herself or her dog.
I understand the optics of this video aren’t great, but people need to understand this man is a dick and probably did threaten her.
You can read his Facebook post where he tells the world he told her “you’re not gonna like what I’m going to do next.” That’s a threat. And she has no idea if this man is pulling out a knife, a gun, or a treat that laced with a rat poison. If I wasn’t who I was, I would of called the police on that guy too.
Sure, we’re breaking the rules by having our dogs off leash in a park that has 80% of its area off-leash hours, but that gives that guy no authority to accost people in such manner.
My two fellow dog owners have had similar situations with this man, but don’t feel comfortable coming forward because they’re white. They think they’ll be seen as some “Karen” or whatever.
I obviously don’t have that fear. I am a liberal man who voted for Barack, Bernie, and Bernie again. I’ll be voting for Biden as he’s the lesser of two evils. I’m not some right wing nut job trying to push an agenda. I just think it’s unfair and uncool how the world is pushing their own agenda with this story. Not everyone has a personal experience like this so I get it because of the optics, but I beg you guys to please publish my words. This is not the story we all want. Thank you guys for your time. -Jerome Lockett