Amy Cooper faces charges after calling police on Black bird watcher in Central Park

Video shows Amy Cooper calling police on Black bird watcher in Central Park in May.

A white woman who called the police on a Black bird watcher in Central Park in May is facing misdemeanour charges.

A press release from the Manhattan district attorney’s office released Monday says the office “initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.”

“Our office will provide the public with additional information as the case proceeds. At this time I would like to encourage anyone who has been the target of false reporting to contact our Office,” the statement reads. “We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable.”

She’s been ordered to appear in court on Oct. 14, per the Associated Press.

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Woman called police on a Black man in Central Park, then she was fired

On May 25, Amy Cooper called 911 on Christian Cooper, a bird watcher who frequents the park, after he asked her to put her dog on a leash.

In the video taken by Christian Cooper and shared to Facebook, a woman comes toward the camera while telling the person behind the camera to stop filming.

After the person asks her not to come closer, the woman pulls out her phone and says she’s going to tell police that “there is an African-American man threatening my life.” The man tells her to “tell them whatever you like.”

The woman then moves away from the person filming to make the call, dragging the dog by the collar.

Central Park this morning: This woman's dog is tearing through the plantings in the Ramble.ME: Ma'am, dogs in the Ramble have to be on the leash at all times. The sign is right there.HER: The dog runs are closed. He needs his exercise.ME: All you have to do is take him to the other side of the drive, outside the Ramble, and you can let him run off leash all you want.HER: It's too dangerous.ME: Look, if you're going to do what you want, I'm going to do what I want, but you're not going to like it.HER: What's that?ME (to the dog): Come here, puppy!HER: He won't come to you.ME: We'll see about that…I pull out the dog treats I carry for just for such intransigence. I didn't even get a chance to toss any treats to the pooch before Karen scrambled to grab the dog.HER: DON'T YOU TOUCH MY DOG!!!!!That's when I started video recording with my iPhone, and when her inner Karen fully emerged and took a dark turn…

Posted by Christian Cooper on Monday, May 25, 2020

The woman can be heard repeatedly claiming the man is “threatening me and my dog.” Despite no signs that the man filming her, or anyone else, is advancing towards her, the woman becomes louder as she talks into the phone.

“Please send the cops immediately!” she yells as she puts a leash on her dog, which prompts the person recording the video to thank her.

Amy Cooper was later terminated by her employer.

After the backlash, she released an apology through a public relations service, saying she “reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions,” AP reports.

Read more:
Outrage erupts over ‘Karen’ who called cops on Black birdwatcher in Central Park

“He had every right to request that I leash my dog in an area where it was required,” she said in the written 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.”

— With files from the Associated Press.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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