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New JEA HQ is more than two years away
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New JEA HQ is more than two years away

New JEA HQ is more than two years away
Left: Kings Avenue Station, from Kings Avenue Station P3, LLC; Top right: Lot J, from Jacksonville 1-C Parcel One Holding Company; Bottom right: 325 West Adams Street, from Ryan Companies US, Inc.

New JEA HQ is more than two years away

With their current building too large and in need of substantial repairs, JEA has been working through the process of soliciting bids for a new headquarters. As the Board heard from the three “short-listed” plans Tuesday, they learned even the quickest proposed construction would take more than two years to complete once the award is made.

And, when all is said and done, JEA also may not have ownership of the building they choose.

IN DEPTH: Public bids released for JEA HQ proposals

WOKV has been following this process for months, and the Board vote is slated for April. While the information that’s publicly available about those bids is limited at this time, including how much they would cost and how much public financing would be expected, we’re learning more from public packets that JEA has asked each team to assemble and presentations that were made by those teams to the Board today.

Lot J, near TIAA Bank Field

Jaguars President Mark Lamping acknowledges that it’s unusual for an NFL team to be involved in a bid like this, but he says they see the success of Downtown as vital to the success of of the franchise.

“In addition to providing an exceptional work environment for your employees and an efficient and pleasant experience for your customers, you have a decision in front of you that, in many respects, put you in a position to be the catalyst to help Downtown Jacksonville realize it’s full potential,” Lamping says.

GALLERY: Lot J JEA headquarters proposal

The Jags have partnered with the Cordish Companies in their proposal, which would have the new HQ ready for occupancy about 29 months from the award date. While the proposal doesn’t specifically address building ownership, Cordish Companies Principal and Vice President Blake Cordish says they still own and operate every project they have built. He did say their hope and intent would be that the company manages the site.

“Our perspective is not of one to build and sell quickly. It’s to develop projects and partnerships with our clients that will be lasting. Make the decisions up front to create the best possible product and experiences for our clients, and ones that are the most cost-effective in the long term,” he says.

Cordish touted their team’s experience specifically in projects that join with sports teams to create broader entertainment districts. They are planning for this to be a kickoff for the redevelopment of Lot J, which will also include a parking garage and “live arena”. That development in itself is hoped by the developers to be a springboard for their overall vision to redevelop the Sports Complex and Shipyards. Jaguars owner Shad Khan is the Master Developer of the Shipyards, but negotiations with the City have been ongoing for a long time.

“This vision is one that is once in a generation for Jacksonville. This is an opportunity to transform 80 city blocks, an opportunity to create billions of dollars of development and millions of square feet that will become a new catalyst for the future of your community, of Jacksonville,” Cordish says.

Jacksonville 1-C Parcel One Holding Company
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JEA headquarters proposal at Lot J

Photo Credit: Jacksonville 1-C Parcel One Holding Company

Their plan centers on the amenities that development could ultimately provide- restaurants, retail, residential space, and more- as being big conveniences for customers and employees alike. They also believe another separate proposal by JTA for the Bay Street Innovation Corridor would provide good transportation solutions, and the stadium and new proposed garage provide ample parking.

And, for the building itself, the proposal is a transparent sort of facade, solar panels, and collaborative and flexible work spaces.

Kings Avenue Station, Southbank

Aiming to highlight things that make this property unique and-in their belief- easier to get in motion, the developers behind this proposal say this is a “generational” decision.

“It will take careful analysis, courage, and conviction to find the right location for JEA, its employees, and its taxpayers,” says Chase Properties President and CEO Michael Balanky.

GALLERY: Kings Avenue Station JEA headquarters proposal

Balanky says the City has made mistakes in the past by locating government buildings, like the Duval County Jail, on prime property, so this is not a decision that should be taken lightly. He says they have a team with substantial local roots and presence, and they will be accountable to the decisions they make.

“We are not going to leave this community. The legacy of that we do on your behalf is going to be something that we are going to live with and that we are going to be proud of,” says Ervin Lovett Miller Principal Steve Lovett.

This development team is already in full ownership of this property, and they say the zoning is already in place, no environmental remediation is needed, and the pad-ready site already has some infrastructure installed. They believe, from the time of award, they could deliver the project completely in 30-31 months. That delivery could be a complete hand-off, as the proposal contemplates a long-term lease, lease-to-own agreement, or purchase of the building outright.

Kings Avenue Station P3, LLC
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JEA headquarters proposal for Kings Avenue Station

Photo Credit: Kings Avenue Station P3, LLC

In terms of the location, the development team thinks there is a distinct advantage is being right off I-95, in terms of the visibility of the signage and access to the area. They are also near Skyway and Bus Rapid Transit routes and intend to tap in to the Kings Avenue Garage on the property, which they say is currently under-utilized. More parking is available under I-95, with the team in talks with FDOT to add more.

Lovett says they also have walkability to existing amenities, including restaurants and hotels, as well as some that are in development, like The District. The site plan allows for business expansion at the property as well.

“The success of JEA will stand alone here, regardless of what happens around it, and we think that’s very, very important,” Balanky says.

325 West Adams Street, near the County Courthouse

The Ryan Companies wants to keep the HQ in the heart of Downtown, only a few blocks from the current location. They think the best opportunity for customers, employees, and the City alike is to contribute to an active, urban environment.

“We build stories. As we engage with every one of our customers, we recognize we’re building a building, we’re pulling together financing, we’re constructing, we’re designing. That’s what we do. What we’re really doing for you is building the story of who JEA is,” says Ryan Companies President of Southeast Region Doug Dieck.

GALLERY:West Adams Street JEA headquarters proposal

Dieck says, with Ryan’s in-house experience and team, they have the knowledge and experience to pull off the plan. Their estimated construction timeline would have occupancy in the shortest amount of time- 25 months from the award- and they intend to lease the property to JEA.

The property itself would include flexible and collaborative work spaces, natural light, outdoor space on the ninth floor, near the cafeteria and fitness center, and similar measures. There would be a separate parking garage on the property with separate entrances for employees and customers. Customers would have similar public transportation options for this site as they do now, which is another benefit of remaining in the core, according to the team.

“It will be right in the center of everything that we call Downtown,” says Mandalay Real Estate Partners Principal and Chestnut Hill Investments President JJ Conners.

Ryan Companies US, Inc.
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JEA headquarters proposal for West Adams Street

Photo Credit: Ryan Companies US, Inc.

They see this proposal as an overall marriage of a capable team and a vision for the future of the company and city.

“Great cities, you go around the world, have great, strong cores. If a city doesn’t have a strong core, it is never going to be able to attain greatness as a city,” says Ryan Companies Chairman of the Board Patrick Ryan.

He says they want to ensure they deliver what JEA wants, though, so they see this whole process as a dialogue.

Next steps

What was not discussed at these presentations to the Board was the overall price tag for each plan, and what they would ask in terms of public contribution. That is some of the information that is in the full proposal packages, which are not considered public record at this time.

JEA, their real estate consultant, and these three short-listed proposers continue negotiations, with the deadline for Best and Final Offers on March 11th. The JEA Board will then vote during the week of April 8th, with the intent of approving the final contract in the summer.

WOKV will continue to follow this process and bring you bid details as they’re available.


JEA is looking for a new headquarters, and there are three proposals on the short list. I’m breaking down what we know about each, the questions remaining, and what happens next.

Posted by Stephanie Brown, News 104.5 WOKV on Tuesday, February 5, 2019

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The Latest News Headlines

  • Commissioners from St. Johns County voted this morning to officially ask Elon Musk and the Tesla Company to move to St. Johns County. Earlier this month, Elon Musk was tweeting about how the stay-at home restrictions in Alameda County, California were “facist” and robbed people from their freedom of going back to work. Since then, several cities and states have reached out to Tesla saying they are more than welcome to relocate the car-making plant. That now includes St. Johns County. 'Tesla, Inc., is hereby respectfully and enthusiastically invited to consider St. Johns County, Florida, as a potential destination in the relocation of its headquarters or any future programs,' the resolution states. The resolution also states several facts about St. Johns County, listing why it would be a good place to relocate the headquarters. “St. Johns County, while we have experienced a devastating virus, we are still open for business and we have got to employ our residents so they can put food on the table,” Commissioner James Johns said. This vote was a followup to a discussion by the commissioners on May 19. 
  • More than 5.5 million people worldwide – including more than 1.6 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Tuesday, May 26, continue below:  703 new cases of COVID-19 reported in New Jersey Update 12:45 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Tuesday that 703 new coronavirus infections have been reported, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 155,764. Murphy noted that reports of new cases, which fell Tuesday below the more than 900 new cases reported one day earlier, might be delayed due to the long holiday weekend. “The key metrics from our hospitals continue to move in the right direction,” he said in a Twitter post. “We continue to see many positive signs that we can keep moving forward. We’re seeing many more good days than bad.' Officials also reported 54 more deaths associated with the coronavirus pandemic. As of Tuesday, 11,191 people have died statewide of COVID-19. Pence’s press secretary returns to work after recovering from COVID-19 Update 12:40 p.m. EDT May 26: Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, said Tuesday that she’s returned to work after recovering from a coronavirus infection. President Donald Trump said May 8 that Miller was diagnosed with COVID-19 “all of a sudden.” Miller said Tuesday that she tested negative three times for COVID-19 before returning to work. “Thank you to all my amazing doctors and everyone who reached out with support,” Miller wrote Tuesday in a tweet. “I couldn’t have done it without my amazing husband who took great care of his pregnant wife.” Miller is married to Stephen Miller, the president’s senior adviser. New Jersey allows professional sports teams return to training, competition Update 12:25 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey announced Tuesday that professional sports teams are now allowed to resume training and competition in the state. “While leagues make their own decisions about operations, I am confident that teams are equipped to practice and eventually play in a responsible manner, protecting the health and safety of players, coaches, and team personnel,” the governor said, according to NBC News. New York Gov. Cuomo to meet with President Trump on Wednesday Update 12:10 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said he will meet Wednesday with President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. Cuomo said at a news conference Tuesday that he plans “to talk about a number of things” with the president, including the possibility of ramping up infrastructure projects to boost the economy. “There is no better time to build than right now,” Cuomo said. “You need to create jobs and you need to renew and repair this country’s economy and it’s infrastructure. Now is the time to do it. It’s especially the time to do it when some of the volume is lower.” Jacksonville, Florida mayor says city ‘would be honored’ to host RNC Update 12 p.m. EDT May 26: The mayor of Jacksonville, Florida said Tuesday that the city “would be honored to host the Republican National Convention” after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the convention from North Carolina due to the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. >> Read more on WFTV.com In a series of Twitter posts, Mayor Lenny Curry said his administration and Gov. Ron DeSantis “have created a regulatory framework that operates in (a) way that is attractive to significant events like these.” He offered up the city’s partnership with the UFC, which led to several fan-free shows at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena earlier this month, as evidence that the city “has strongly demonstrated the ability to host large events in a safe (and) responsible way.' Earlier Tuesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said his state would be willing and able to safely host the RNC, which is scheduled to take place Aug. 24 to Aug. 27 at the Spectrum Center and Charlotte Convention Center. As of Tuesday morning, 50,916 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in Florida and 2,259 people have died the viral infection. Officials with the Georgia Department of Public Health said 43,586 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed statewide as of Tuesday morning with 1,853 people killed by the viral infection. In North Carolina, officials said that as of Tuesday morning, 24,140 people had been diagnosed with coronavirus infections and 766 people have died statewide. 73 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in New York Update 11:35 a.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Tuesday that 73 more people have died of COVID-19 statewide. The number was slightly less than the 95 new fatal cases reported one day earlier. Georgia offers to host RNC after Trump threatens to pull convention from North Carolina Update 11:10 a.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia on Tuesday offered his state up as host of the Republican National Convention after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the RNC from it’s planned setting in North Carolina over the state’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. “With world-class facilities, restaurants, hotels, and workforce, Georgia would be honored to safely host the Republican National Convention,' Kemp wrote in a post on Twitter. Trump said in a series of tweets published Monday that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper must immediately tell organizers whether or not they’ll be able to host the convention as expected from Aug. 24 to Aug. 27 at the Spectrum Center and Charlotte Convention Center. “Plans are being made by thousands of enthusiastic Republicans and others to head to beautiful North Carolina in August,” the president wrote. “They must be immediately given an answer by the governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied.” Cooper said Monday that state health officials are working with the Republican National Committee and reviewing their plans for holding the convention, WSOC-TV reported. “North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state’s public health and safety,” Cooper said, according to WSOC-TV. As of Tuesday morning, 24,140 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in North Carolina and 766 people have died, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Officials with the Georgia Department of Public Health said 43,586 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed statewide as of Tuesday morning with 1,853 people killed by the viral infection. New Jersey to allow for socially distanced graduation ceremonies Update 10:45 a.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey announced Tuesday that schools will be allowed to begin holding outdoor graduation ceremonies in July provided they comply with social distancing measures. Murphy said the ceremonies will be allowed beginning July 6. The date is about two weeks later than graduations are typically held, according to North Jersey.com. 4,043 new coronavirus infections reported in the UK Update 10:35 a.m. EDT May 26: Officials in the United Kingdom reported 4,043 new coronavirus infections Tuesday morning, raising the country’s total number of infections to 265,227. Officials said that as of 5 p.m. local time Monday, the most recent date for which data was available, 37,048 people had died nationwide of COVID-19. Wall Street up as recovery hopes overshadow virus worries Update 9:50 a.m. EDT May 26: Wall Street opened sharply higher Tuesday as hopes for economic recovery overshadow worries over the coronavirus pandemic. The S&P 500 jumped to nearly a 3-month high, recovering much of its post-pandemic losses. Investors are shifting their focus to how various nations are adapting to getting back to business, while striving to keep new COVID-19 cases in check. Reassuring comments by the head of China’s central bank also helped spur buying. Benchmarks in Paris, London and Tokyo also gained on Tuesday. Brooklyn Nets allowed to begin voluntary player workouts, reopen training facility Update 9:05 a.m. EDT May 26: Officials with the Brooklyn Nets said the NBA team plans to reopen its practice training facility Tuesday, two days after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said professional sports teams in the state would be allowed to begin spring training statewide. In a statement obtained by CNN, team officials said they plan to reopen the HSS Training Center for voluntary player workouts beginning Tuesday. “The organization will strictly follow the protocols outlined by the NBA and infectious disease experts to ensure that all precautions are taken in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment for players and staff,” the statement said, according to CNN. Several Nets players, including Kevin Durant, tested positive for coronavirus infections in March. Global deaths near 347K, total cases soar past 5.5M Update 7:44 a.m. EDT May 26: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 346,700 early Tuesday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 5,518,905 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 13 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,102.  The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows: • The United States has reported 1,662,768 cases, resulting in 98,223 deaths. • Brazil has recorded 374,898 cases, resulting in 23,473 deaths. • Russia has confirmed 362,342 cases, resulting in 3,807 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 262,547 cases, resulting in 36,996 deaths. • Spain has confirmed 235,400 cases, resulting in 26,834 deaths. • Italy has reported 230,158 cases, resulting in 32,877 deaths. • France has confirmed 183,067 cases, resulting in 28,460 deaths. • Germany has reported 180,802 cases, resulting in 8,323 deaths. • Turkey has recorded 157,814 cases, resulting in 4,369 deaths • India has recorded 146,371 cases, resulting in 4,187 deaths. Colorado restaurant owners sue state over Mother’s Day license suspension Update 7:08 a.m. EDT May 26: The owners of a Colorado restaurant who defied statewide shutdown orders by allowing throngs of customers to dine on Mother’s Day have field suit against the state for having their license suspended. The suit was filed Friday by the owners of C&C Coffee & Kitchen in Castle Rock against Gov. Jared Polis; the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and its director; and the local tri-county health department in Douglas County District Court, The Washington Post reported. 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South Korea links nearly 250 coronavirus cases to popular Seoul entertainment district Published 4:41 a.m. EDT May 26: A popular nightlife district in South Korean capital Seoul has been linked officially to 247 novel coronavirus cases since social distancing restrictions were eased. According to the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 83,000 tests have been performed specific to the Itaweon district outbreak, and about 30% of those who tested positive have remained asymptomatic. D.C. officials confident they can contain coronavirus by July Published 3:33 a.m. EDT May 26: The greater Washington, D.C., area could have enough testing equipment, laboratory capacity and contact tracers to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, but only if the public remains vigilant, The Washington Post reported. According to public health officials in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, the region is expected to reach peak capacity for testing and tracing by June or early July, the Post reported. Read more here. Largest Latin American airline files for bankruptcy amid coronavirus disruptions Update 2:14 a.m. EDT May 26: LATAM Airlines Group has filed for bankruptcy, and the largest Latin American airline cites the novel coronavirus pandemic as the primary cause. In a statement posted to its website, the company said it will reorganize operations under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States. Specifically, CEO Roberto Alvo said LATAM will refocus “on transforming our group to adapt to a new and evolving way of flying, with the health and safety of our passengers and employees being paramount.' No immediate impact is expected to affect reservations, employee pay, flight vouchers or passenger and cargo operations, according to the statement. US coronavirus cases approach 1.7M, deaths surpass 98K Update 1:08 a.m. EDT May 26: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surged toward 1.7 million early Tuesday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,662,302 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 98,223 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 362,764 cases and 29,229 deaths and New Jersey with 155,092 cases and 11,147 deaths. Massachusetts, with 93,271 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,416, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 112,017. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 6,000 cases each. Five other states have now confirmed at least 51,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 96,400 cases, resulting in 3,769 deaths • Pennsylvania: 71,925 cases, resulting in 5,146 deaths • Texas: 56,409 cases, resulting in 1,533 deaths • Michigan: 54,881 cases, resulting in 5,241 deaths • Florida: 51,746 cases, resulting in 2,252 deaths Meanwhile, Maryland, Georgia and Connecticut each has confirmed at least 40,000 cases; Louisiana, Virginia, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 31,000 cases; Colorado, North Carolina, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases; Iowa, Arizona and Wisconsin each has confirmed at least 15,000 cases; Alabama and Rhode Island each has confirmed at least 14,000 cases, followed by Mississippi with 13,458; Missouri and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 12,000 cases, followed by South Carolina with 10,178 and Kansas with 9,125; Delaware, Kentucky, Utah and the District of Columbia each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases; Nevada and New Mexico each has confirmed at least 7,000 cases; Oklahoma and Arkansas each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • The FBI is investigating after video surfaced early Tuesday that appeared to show a police officer holding a knee against a man’s neck as he struggled to breathe shortly before he was pronounced dead at a hospital. The 10-minute video was caught by Darnella Frazier, who was on her way to meet with friends Monday night when she saw a man on the ground near a police cruiser and began to record, The Washington Post reported. In the video, later posted on Facebook, the man on the ground can be heard shouting that he can't breathe. “Don’t kill me!” he said, according to the Post. In a news briefing early Tuesday with police Chief Medaria Arradondo, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the officer seen in the video with his knee to the man’s neck “failed in the most basic human sense,” according to KARE. 'For five minutes we watched as a white officer pressed his knee to the neck of a black man,' he said. 'For five minutes.' Police said they were called around 8 p.m. Monday to a report of a forgery in progress on the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South. Officers who responded found a man in his 40s who was believed to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Police said officers ordered him to step away from his car and that afterward he “physically resisted officers.” 'Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress,' police said in a statement released after the incident. 'Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.' In video of the incident, bystanders can be heard questioning officers’ treatment of the man. “He’s not even resisting arrest right now, bro,” a bystander tells one of the two responding officers in the video, according to WCCO. “You’re (expletive) stopping his breathing right now, you think that’s cool?” The video shows when the man on the ground appears to lose consciousness. “Whatever the investigation reveals, it does not change the simple truth … that he should be with us this morning,” Frey said Tuesday, according to KARE. The two officers who responded to the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave as authorities investigate, according to WCCO. Neither the officers nor the man who died were identified.
  • Washington Insider Jamie Dupree first reported over the weekend that the President had raised the possibility of moving the GOP convention from North Carolina. Then Vice President Mike Pence floated Florida, Georgia and Texas as possible second choices.  And Politico reports that Jacksonville could make a pitch to serve as host.  Mayor Lenny Curry told Playbook that he’s interested in the convention and that his city has already shown it is ready, according to reporters Gary Fineout and Matt Dixon.  Meantime, Jamie Dupree reports that Democrats still haven’t figured out what they’re doing in Milwaukee in August. 
  • A woman apologized for calling the police on a black man Monday after the two argued about her unleashed dog in New York City’s Central Park. Part of the confrontation between Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper -- who are not related -- was recorded on Christian Cooper’s cellphone in a wooded area of Central Park known as the Ramble, CNN reported. He posted the video on Facebook. His sister, Melody Cooper, also posted the encounter on Twitter. “I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way,” Amy Cooper, who is white. told CNN. She added that she wanted to “publicly apologize to everyone.” The Ramble is a wildlife habitat where dogs tend to disturb birds, which is why Christian Cooper commented about the unleashed dog to Amy Cooper, WABC reported. Dogs are supposed to be leashed in that area of Central Park, according to the park’s website. “She was actually standing right next to the sign that says dogs in the Ramble have to be leashed at all times,” Christian Cooper told the television station. As Christian Cooper began recording, Amy Cooper asked him to stop and approached the man, WPIX reported. “I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” Amy Cooper is heard in the video. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.” ”My thinking was, I can sort of capitulate to this racial intimidation, or I could just do what I’m doing and continue recording,' Christian Cooper told WABC. As Christian Cooper continued to record the exchange, Amy Cooper is shown making a telephone call. “There is an African American man. I am in Central Park,” she said as she struggles to control the dog. 'He is recording me and threatening myself and my dog. ... I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble. Please send the cops immediately.” Police responded to the park after the 8:10 a.m. call, officials told WPIX. “Upon arrival, police determined two individuals had engaged in a verbal dispute,” an NYPD spokesperson told the television station. “There were no arrests or summonses issued and both parties went on their way.” Amy Cooper surrendered the dog to the shelter where he had been adopted from while the dispute is being investigated, according to  Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, Inc. “The dog is now in our rescue’s care and he is safe and in good health,” the post stated. “I think I was just scared,” Amy Cooper told CNN, adding that her “entire life is being destroyed right now.” “When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening,' she told the network. 'It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.” Amy Cooper has been placed on administrative leave by her employer, investment company Franklin Templeton. “We take these matters very seriously, and we do not condone racism of any kind. While we are in the process of investigating the situation, the employee involved has been put on administrative leave,” the company’s statement read. New York City Councilman Mark Levine called the incident “disgusting.” “Filling a false police report is a crime,” he tweeted. “Being racist is reprehensible. There needs to be accountability for this.”

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