A New York woman will not face charges after she was initially accused of making a false report against a Black man last year.
CBSN New York reports that a misdemeanor false reporting charge against Amy Cooper was dropped Tuesday morning after she completed five therapy sessions that focused on racial equity.
“Given the issues at hand and Ms. Cooper’s lack of criminal background, we offered her, consistent with our position on many misdemeanor cases involving a first arrest, an alternative, restorative justice resolution; designed not just to punish but to educate and promote community healing,” Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi said.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Amy Cooper was issued a ticket to appear at an arraignment last year on a 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 Central Park, where dogs are required to be on a leash, when he encountered Amy Cooper (no relation) and her off-leash dog on May 25, 2020. Christian Cooper said he asked the woman to leash her dog and she refused.
In the video he shared on Facebook, Amy Cooper was heard threatening to call the police.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” Amy Cooper said.
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.”
Cooper’s attorney released a statement following news of the dropped charge.
“After a thorough and honest inquiry, the New York District Attorney’s office concluded the appropriate outcome of this matter was complete dismissal of all charges. We thank them for their integrity, and agree with the outcome. Many others rushed to the wrong conclusion based on inadequate investigation, and for some, there may be legal consequences coming.”
After the Central Park run-in, Chris Cooper explained to CBSN New York why he decided to record Amy Cooper.
“I wasn’t going to participate in my own dehumanization and feed that so I just kept recording,” Chris Cooper said. “It’s not just about her. She tapped into something that’s pervasive in our society that we all really need to address.”
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[Feature Photo: Amy Cooper/Facebook video screenshot]