Amy Cooper, a white woman who called police to claim a Black man was threatening her after he asked her to put her dog on a leash in New York City’s Central Park is facing charges for false reporting, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said Monday.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance released a statement announcing the charge: “Today our Office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree.”
“We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable,” he said.
A video of the confrontation went viral in late May, drawing immediate comparisons to a number of other viral videos showing white people calling police on Black people for doing normal things that are not crimes.
In the video, Christian Cooper, who is not related to the woman, is heard asking Amy Cooper to put her dog on a leash. Amy Cooper then threatens to call the police and “tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”
Christian Cooper, an avid birder, filmed the interaction. Dogs are required to wear leashes in the 36-acre wooded area of Central Park known as the Ramble.
After threatening to call the police, Amy Cooper is seen saying into her cell phone that she is in Central Park and that there is an “African American” man in a bicycle helmet that is “threatening me and my dog.”
“I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble, please send the cops immediately,” she added, before hanging up.
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
Amy Cooper issued a public apology after being fired from her job after the video went viral.
Christian Cooper said that he accepts Amy Cooper’s apology.
“I do accept her apology. It’s a first step. I think she’s got to do some reflection on what happened,” Cooper said on “The View” in May. “Up until the moment when she made that statement and made that phone call, it was just a conflict between a birder and a dog-walker. And then she took it to a very dark place, and I think she’s got to sort of examine why and how that happened.”
The Manhattan prosecutor said his office will update the public as the case proceeds, and encouraged anyone who has been the “target of false reporting” to contact his office.