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The white woman who went viral for telling a black couple to “stay in [your] hood” during an encounter in a Brooklyn dog park denied Monday that her comments had any “racial undertones.”
Emma Sarley — freshly fired from her job amid social-media furor over Saturday’s confrontation in McCarren Park in Williamsburg — said she was sorry for her “brief and thoughtless moment,” but insists that her words “back to your hood” was referring to “another dog park outside of this neighborhood park,” she said in a statement issued via a public relations firm.
“I was frustrated and upset, but to be clear – I had no intended racial undertones in my comments whatsoever. I said it because it’s an unstated rule at our local park that when a dog is being aggressive, owners immediately remove them so it can be a calm, welcoming environment for everyone else.
“However, I fully understand how my words could’ve been interpreted and I deeply wish I had chosen them more carefully,” she said. “A brief and thoughtless moment in my life has now led to nationwide outrage and hurt. For that, I am sorry.”
Frederick Joseph has said he and his fiancée were threatened by Sarley after she confused their dog with one that had been barking loudly at the park. “So I started recording and [Sarley] tried to slap the phone out of my hand,” Joseph wrote on Twitter.
Sarley said, “As the dog owners followed me down the street with the phone camera on, I was filled with some panic because I’ve never been in an altercation like this and reacted in an inappropriate way. That’s what you witnessed on that tape.”
Watch the unedited video below:
Amid social media backlash over the video, Sarley was fired from her job with the software platform Bevy.
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