Manhattan, NY – The white woman who called police in hysterics claiming that an “African American man” threatened her in Central Park in May has been charged for allegedly filing a false police report.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced the charge against 40-year-old Amy Cooper on July 6, ABC News reported.
“Today our office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree,” Vance said.
According to the district attorney, Amy Cooper was issued a desk appearance ticket for the misdemeanor charge, and is scheduled to be arraigned on October 14, ABC News reported.
Amy Cooper placed the infamous call to police after Christian Cooper asked her to put her dog on a leash – as per the park’s rules – as she was walking in the Ramble area of Central Park on May 25, WNYW reported.
Cell phone footage showed Christian Cooper, who is not related to Amy Cooper, as he asked her to put her dog on a leash as required.
Christian Cooper, an avid bird-watcher, said that having dogs leashed is “important to us birders because we know that dogs won’t be off leash at all and we can go there to see the ground-dwelling birds,” CNN reported.
“People spend a lot of money and time planting in those areas as well,” he added. “Nothing grows in a dog run for a reason.”
But instead of complying with his polite request, Amy Cooper became irate, the video showed.
She grabbed her dog by its collar, raising its front legs off of the ground, and made her way over to Christian Cooper, demanding that he stop recording her.
Christian Cooper asked her not to come any closer, but she momentarily ignored him and shoved her finger at him.
“Then I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” she declared. “I’m gonna tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life!”
Christian Cooper encouraged her to call police.
“Please tell them whatever you like,” he calmly responded, as Amy Cooper continued to hold her dog off of the ground by its collar.
The choking dog desperately tried to free itself as she got on the line with the NYPD and alleged that she and her dog were being threatened by an “African American man,” the video showed.
Amy Cooper became increasingly frantic as the brief call continued, culminating with desperate pleas to “send cops immediately.”
Christian Cooper later explained that when Amy Cooper refused to put her dog on a leash, he had offered the pooch a treat, the New York Post reported.
“The only way they can keep the dog from eating the treat is to put it on a leash,” he explained. “At some point, she decided, ‘I’m gonna play the race card,’ I guess.”
In a Facebook post, Christian Cooper explained that he had initially suggested that Amy Cooper take her dog to an area outside the Ramble, where there were no leash rules.
She refused, so he pushed harder.
“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,” he responded, as he called her dog over for a treat.
Amy Cooper told him that her dog would not come to him, at which point he responded, “We’ll see about that.”
Christian Cooper said he then pulled out the dog treats that he carries “for just such intransigence.”
Amy Cooper “scrambled” to grab her dog before he had an opportunity to toss any treats in its direction, then she began yelling at him not to touch her dog, he wrote.
That’s when he started recording the now-viral video.
New York police responded to the area just after 8:10 a.m., WNYW reported.
“Upon arrival, police determined two individuals had engaged in a verbal dispute,” NYPD Sergeant Mary Frances O’Donnell said.
No one was arrested and no summonses were issued.
“Both parties went on their way,” Sgt. O’Donnell added.
Amy Cooper later told CNN that her “entire life is being destroyed right now” because of the incident.
She apologized for her actions during an interview with WNBC.
She claimed that Christian Cooper was screaming at her, and said she felt threatened because she was concerned that the treats he was trying to offer her dog were unsafe.
“I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man, his family,” Amy Cooper told WNBC. “It was unacceptable and I humbly and fully apologize to everyone who’s seen that video, everyone that’s been offended…everyone who thinks of me in a lower light and I understand why they do.”
She said she now realizes that not everyone has the “luxury” of viewing law enforcement officers as a “protection agency.”
“When I think about the police, I’m such a blessed person,” Amy Cooper told WNBC. “I’ve come to realize especially today that I think of [the police] as a protection agency, and unfortunately, this has caused me to realize that there are so many people in this country that don’t have that luxury.”
She told CNN that she is “not a racist,” and that she “did not mean to harm that man in any way.”
“I think I was just scared,” Amy Cooper added. “When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.”
In an interview with CNN, Christian Cooper said he believes that Amy Cooper’s apology was sincere, but said that the act itself was “definitely racist.”
“I’m not sure that in that apology she recognizes that while she may not be or consider herself a racist, that particular act was definitely racist,” he said.
“Is she a racist? I can’t answer that,” Christian Cooper added. “Only she can answer that. And I would submit probably the only way she’s going to answer that is going forward. How she conducts herself and, you know, how she chooses to reflect on this situation and examine it.”
He also urged others to stop threatening Amy Cooper for her actions.
“I am told there has been death threats and that is wholly inappropriate and abhorrent and should stop immediately,” he told CNN. “I find it strange that people who were upset that…she tried to bring death by cop down on my head, would then turn around and try to put death threats on her head. Where is the logic in that?”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio blasted Amy Cooper on Twitter, calling the situation a case of “racism, plain and simple.”
“She called the police BECAUSE he was a Black man. Even though she was the one breaking the rules. She decided he was the criminal and we know why,” de Blasio wrote. “This kind of hatred has no place in our city.”
Critics were also outraged by the way she treated her dog throughout the ordeal.
In the face of the backlash, Amy Cooper opted to voluntarily surrender her dog to the Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue for the time being, WNBC reported.
She had adopted the dog from the same rescue several years ago, the organization said in a Facebook post after the incident.
“Our mission remains the health and safety of our rescued dogs,” the rescue said. “The dog is now in our rescue’s care and he is safe and in good health.”
Amy’s dog was returned to her two weeks later, according to ABC News.
Christian Cooper said he accepts Amy Cooper’s apology contingent on it being “genuine,” CNN reported.
“If she plans on keeping her dog on a leash in the Ramble going forward, then we have no issues with each other,” he added.
In addition to facing misdemeanor charges and being the subject of widespread ridicule, Amy Cooper was also fired from her job at an investment firm in the wake of the incident.
“Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately,” the company tweeted. “We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton.”
Amy Cooper’s attorney, Robert Barnes, said he believes she will be found not guilty of the charge against her, ABC News reported.
“The rush to judgment by some in the public, in this cancel culture epidemic, will be proven as wrong as cancel culture itself,” Barnes told the news outlet. “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?”
Meanwhile, Vance encouraged other New Yorkers to contact his office in the event they have gone through an experience similar to Christian Cooper’s, ABC News reported.
“We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable,” the district attorney said.