Dog park 'Karen' Emma Sarley tells Black author and fiancee to 'stay in their hood'
New York Times bestselling author Frederick T Joseph and his fiancee were reportedly harassed by a racist woman at a dog park in Brooklyn, when they took their dog out for a walk on Saturday, September 25. The White woman, later identified as Emma Sarley, confronted the Black couple mistaking their pooch for another dog nearby that was barking loudly. During the altercation, Sarley told Joseph and his fiancee to "stay in their hood" — an offensive phrase directed towards Black people. When Joseph started recording her, Sarley tried to slap the phone out of his hand and also gave him the finger. Later, another man who witnessed the entire episode confirmed on camera that Sarley did use the racist phrase.
Joseph shared the video on Twitter writing, "At the dog park in Brooklyn with my fiancé and this white woman was threatening to call police and told us to ‘stay in our hood’ because she had our dog confused with another dog who had been barking loudly...So, I started recording and she tried to slap the phone out my hand."
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At the dog park in Brooklyn with my fiancé and this white woman was threatening to call police and told us to “stay in our hood” because she had our dog confused with another dog who had been barking loudly. So, I started recording and she tried to slap the phone out my hand. pic.twitter.com/9MXwMiU3Qb— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) September 26, 2021
In the video, Joseph can be heard asking Sarley, "You just left the dog park to tell us to stay in our hood?" In response, she appears defiant at first but later says, "Oh my god, did you just say that to me? S–t." Joseph then sought the help of a man standing nearby and asked, "I’m sorry you were right here and watched this whole thing. Did she not just stand here and tell us to stay in our hood?” To which the guy replied, "She did." Sarley then appeared surprised and shocked with the bystander supporting the Black couple, and took off quickly.
The footage became viral on social media and Internet sleuths managed to find the identity of the 'Karen'. Joseph later posted an update with a screenshot of her LinkedIn profile, which shows Emma Sarley as an alumnus of New York University and presently working as an Enterprise Account Executive at Bevy. A Zola profile also confirmed her to be the wife of Jordan Anderson.
Update: Someone on my Instagram seems to have found her. Her name is Emma Sarley. pic.twitter.com/ejAZ09jzY3— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) September 26, 2021
And for others who are saying one of us should have put hands on her… all that would have resulted in is one or both of us in jail and potentially me shot by police.— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) September 26, 2021
Meanwhile, Joseph is the author of 'The Black Friend' and a marketer named in the 'Forbes Under 30' list. On Twitter, he is followed by A-lister celebrities, including Chris Evans. Joseph is engaged to Porsche Landon, who had accompanied him on September 25. The couple had visited the McCarren Park in Williamsburg for a dog run.
After Emma Sarley was identified, Joseph sent a tweet to Bevy requesting the company to take action against their racist employee. As per the latest update, she was terminated from her job soon afterward. "I’ve been told that @DerekjAndersen and @bevyhq have let go of Emma Sarley, as her racism against me and fiancé doesn’t align with their values. I hope this is a lesson in accountability and consequences for Emma and others," Joseph tweeted.
I’ve been told that @DerekjAndersen and @bevyhq have let go of Emma Sarley, as her racism against me and fiancé doesn’t align with their values. I hope this is a lesson in accountability and consequences for Emma and others. pic.twitter.com/vgHgmL0dCa— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) September 26, 2021
It is not certain whether a police report has been filed on the incident but the NYPD said they were looking into it.
Meanwhile, Emma Sarley has released an elaborate statement detailing her side of the story. While communicating with MEAWW, she stated, "I am still processing everything that has happened over the last couple days, and thought it was important to share what I saw and experienced. I absolutely accept responsibility for how I could have handled things differently in that moment.
On Saturday evening, I watched a dog get into several aggressive altercations with other dogs at my local park, and as the owners of this dog were leaving, I suggested that they keep a handle on their dog while visiting this particular park. My reference to “back to your hood” only referred to another dog park outside of this neighborhood park.
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. A brief and thoughtless moment in my life has now led to nationwide outrage and hurt. For that, I am sorry.
I want to clarify that I never threatened to call the police. I never went on a tirade. 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.
I’ve lived in New York City for a decade, my Brooklyn neighborhood and dog park is extremely diverse, something I truly love about this city, and I never meant for my words to contribute to pain for anyone. I truly hope we can find understanding and a peaceful resolution to this, for everyone involved.”