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Woman who called police on Black birdwatcher in Central Park said he ‘tried to assault her’: Court

The New York woman caught on film in May calling police on a Black birdwatcher in Central Park made a second phone call to police in which she accused Christian Cooper, a member of the city’s Audubon Society board of directors, of trying to assault her, Manhattan prosecutors said Wednesday.

Amy Cooper, not related to Christian, appeared via video link in court on Wednesday, when DA Cyrus Vance said that the false reporting charge against her was related to the second 911 call, WPIX reported

Amy Cooper let her dog off leash on May 25 in the Ramble part of the park, a popular birdwatching area where dogs are required to be on leash, as CrimeOnline previously reported. When Christian Cooper asked her to restrain her dog, she called 911 and claimed the birdwatcher was threatening her.

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Christian Cooper recorded parts of the first phone call, in which Amy Cooper yells that she’s calling police and “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”

Central Park this morning: This woman's dog is tearing through the plantings in the Ramble.ME: Ma'am, dogs in the…

Posted by Christian Cooper on Monday, May 25, 2020

 

According to Vance, the dog owner called 911 a second time, again saying a Black man was threatening her life and adding the man “tried to assault her,” WPIX said.

Amy Cooper did not enter a plea, and the case was adjourned until November 17.

Previously, her attorney said 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,” said Robert Barnes, who has previously represented conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and actor Wesley Snipes. “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?”

The ensuing controversy cost Amy Cooper her job and, briefly, her dog, which was eventually returned to her.

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.”

WPIX contacted Christian Cooper about the latest developments, but he declined comment, saying his “focus is on fixing policing and addressing systemic racism.”

“The most important thing is to get the white nationalist out of the White House on November 3,” he said.

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[Featured image: Facebook video screengrab]