Amy Cooper Charged With Falsely Reporting A Crime After Calling The Police On Black Bird Watcher
Amy was charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.
May 27, 2020 at 6:22 pm
Update (July 6, 2020): The white woman who called the police on a Black man in Central Park for allegedly threatening her is now facing charges, according to the New York Daily News.
In a statement released Monday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said Amy Cooper will now be facing legal consequences for telling police that avid birder Christian Cooper was assaulting her when he was seen on video simply asking her to put her dog on a leash.
“Today our Office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree. Our office will provide the public with additional information as the case proceeds,” Vance said. “At this time I would like to encourage anyone who has been the target of false reporting to contact our Office. We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable.”
The New York Times reported that Amy will be arraigned on Oct. 14 and has been issued a desk appearance ticket.
According to the Daily News, the video that Christian took of the interaction has been seen more than 100 million times.
Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Bramble in NY’s Central Park, where it is clearly posted on signs that dogs MUST be leashed at all times, and someone like my brother (an avid birder) politely asks her to put her dog on the leash. pic.twitter.com/3YnzuATsDm
— Melody Cooper (@melodyMcooper) May 25, 2020
Christian is a well-known birder in Central Park and was walking in The Ramble when he saw Amy with her dog off its leash. He asked her to put her dog on a leash because pets often destroy the plants and disturb the birds that live in the park.
Amy became enraged and threatened to call the police on Christian. To protect himself, Christian pulled out his phone and began to take a video showing him standing feet away from her as she called the police and claimed she was being assaulted.
The video became a clear example of white people falsely accusing Black people of a crime they did not commit.
The video sparked outrage because the incident happened the same day as the police killing of George Floyd, and many online implied that Amy was hoping the police would do to Christian what they did to Floyd.
Original (June 1, 2020): Christian Cooper is speaking out about what happened to him in Central Park over Memorial Day weekend, telling multiple outlets that the actions of Amy Cooper were racist but that he did not want her to be bombarded with death threats.
The internet has been on fire since his video of Amy went viral early this week. The video showed her threatening to call the police, tell officers he was Black while making a number of false claims about his actions. Since the video racked up millions of views, Amy has been fired from her job and had her dog taken away from her, as Blavity previously reported.
In the video, Amy is caught on camera saying she would "tell them there's an African American man threatening my life."
"Is she a racist? I can't answer that. Only she can answer that. And I would submit probably the only way she's going to answer that is going forward. How she conducts herself and, you know, how she chooses to reflect on this situation and examine it," he told Lemon.
He went on to say he accepted Amy's apology, which she sent to multiple news outlets including CNN, but that she still may not understand how racist her actions truly were. CNN asked her to appear with Christian on Tuesday, but she did not respond to the request.
"I think her apology is sincere. I'm not sure that in that apology she recognizes that while she may not be or consider herself a racist, that particular act was definitely racist. And the fact that that was her recourse at that moment — granted, it was a stressful situation, a sudden situation — you know, maybe a moment of spectacularly poor judgment. But she went there and had this racist act that she did," Christian said.
The incident spotlighted the longstanding trend of people lying about their interactions with Black people in an effort to criminalize them or justify harsh penalties.
He noted in his interview with NPR that he is already at risk as a Black birder in Central Park because of how he looks.
"I, as an African American, crouching down and peering through a shrub with a metal object in my hand will be perceived by authorities likely completely differently than a white birder doing exactly the same thing when we're both trying to do the same thing, which is see that rare bird that's, you know, hidden in that shrub or whatever," he said.
"The simple fact of my skin color means that I run the risk of being perceived as a menace or a threat despite the fact that I'm doing the exact same thing as anybody else in that park," he added.
Despite the backlash, Christian has taken the high road, asking that people stop sending Amy death threats. He explained that it made no sense for people to send death threats to her considering the whole point of the situation was that Amy was wrong because she tried to have police harm him.
"I am told there has been death threats, and that is wholly inappropriate and abhorrent and should stop immediately. I find it strange that people who were upset that … that she tried to bring death by cop down on my head, would then turn around and try to put death threats on her head. Where is the logic in that? Where does that make any kind of sense?" Christian told CNN.