The white woman who made headlines for calling the police on a Black bird watcher in Central Park is now facing charges
In May, a white woman by the name of Amy Cooper went from total obscurity to an overnight pariah when a video surfaced of her calling the cops on a Black man in Central Park. The man, Christian Cooper, had asked Ms. Cooper to leash her dog. Not only did she refuse, but she also went on to call the cops on Mr. Cooper. Now, she’s facing misdemeanor charges.
On Monday, the Manhattan district attorney announced that Ms. Cooper has been indicted in connection with the viral encounter. “Today, our office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree,” said Cyrus R. Vance, the Manhattan district attorney. “We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable.”
According to the district attorney’s office, Ms. Cooper will be arraigned on October 14. If convicted, she could be given a conditional discharge or, instead of serving jail time, be sentenced to community service and/or counseling.
The confrontation between Mr. Cooper and Ms. Cooper took place on Memorial Day. Mr. Cooper, an avid bird watcher, came across Mrs. Cooper in the Ramble — a semi-wild section of Central Park popular for bird-watching. In a Facebook post after the incident, which he recorded, Mr. Cooper explained that Mrs. Cooper’s dog was “tearing through the plantings.” Given it is against the law for dogs to go unleashed in the Ramble, he asked her to restrain her dog.
When she refused, he pulled out dog treats to give to the dog. That sent her into hysterics, leading her to call the cops and claim she was being threatened by “an African-American man.”
Ms. Cooper has since been fired and has surrendered her dog.
She also issued a public apology, to which Mr. Cooper responded, “I do accept her apology. I think it’s a first step. I think she’s gotta do some reflection on what happened because up until the moment when she made that statement… it was just a conflict between a birder and a dog walker, and then she took it to a very dark place. I think she’s gotta sort of examine why and how that happened.”