A New York woman who was caught on film calling police on an African-American birdwatcher in Central Park has been charged with false reporting, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said.
According to the statement, Amy Cooper was issued a ticket to appear at an arraignment on October 14 on a misdemeanor charge of false reporting of an incident in the third degree.
Christian Cooper, a member of the New York City Audubon Society’s board of directors, was in the Ramble section of the park, where dogs are required to be on leash, when he encountered Amy Cooper (no relation) and her off-leash dog on May 25. Christian Cooper said he asked the woman to leash her dog and she refused, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
In the video he shared to Facebook, Amy Cooper yells she’s calling police and “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”
The ensuing controversy cost Amy Cooper her job and, briefly, her dog, which was eventually returned to her.
Amy Cooper’s attorney, Robert Barnes — who has previously represented conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and actor Wesley Shipes — told ABC7 that his client was a victim of a rush to judgement.
“Once all the facts are known, Amy Cooper will be found not guilty of the single, misdemeanor charge filed in this case,” Barnes said. “The rush to judgment by some in the public, in this cancel culture epidemic, will be proven as wrong as cancel culture itself. She lost her job, her home, and her public life. Now some demand she lose her freedom? How many lives are we going to destroy over misunderstood 60-second videos on social media?”
Shortly after the incident, Amy Cooper issued an apology through a public relations firm that said she “reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions.”
“He had every right to request that I leash my dog in an area where it was required,” she said in the statement. “I am well aware of the pain that misassumptions and insensitive statements about race cause and would never have imagined that I would be involved in the type of incident that occurred with Chris.”
Central Park this morning: This woman's dog is tearing through the plantings in the Ramble.ME: Ma'am, dogs in the…
Christian Cooper said on The View that he accepts the apology but that he thinks “she’s gotta do some reflection on what happened.”
“It was just a conflict between a birder and a dog walker, and then she took it to a very dark place,” he said. “I think she’s gotta sort of examine why and how that happened.”
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[Featured image: Facebook video screengrab]