NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Amy Cooper, the white woman who was seen on camera calling 911 and falsely accusing Chris Cooper, an African-American man, of threatening her in Central Park, appeared in court for arraignment Wednesday.
The video, recorded in May, shows Amy Cooper frantically calling police, while alleging Chris Cooper — no relation — was threatening her.
Prosecutors revealed Wednesday that Amy Cooper made a second call that day claiming Chris Cooper also tried to assault her.
“Our office is committed to safety, justice, and anti-racism, and we will hold people who make false and racist 911 calls accountable,” said District Attorney Cyrus Vance. “As alleged in the complaint, Amy Cooper engaged in racist criminal conduct when she falsely accused a Black man of trying to assault her in a previously unreported second call with a 911 dispatcher. Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the police response to Ms. Cooper’s hoax. Our office will pursue a resolution of this case which holds Ms. Cooper accountable while healing our community, restoring justice, and deterring others from perpetuating this racist practice.”
WEB EXTRA: Read the complaint (.pdf)
Amy Cooper faces a misdemeanor charge of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree. She’s due back in court Nov. 17.
Chris Cooper is an avid bird watcher and was in the Central Park Ramble, where dogs must be leashed. He was simply asking Amy to follow the rules and leash her dog.
Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Bramble in NY’s Central Park, where it is clearly posted on signs that dogs MUST be leashed at all times, and someone like my brother (an avid birder) politely asks her to put her dog on the leash. pic.twitter.com/3YnzuATsDm
— Melody Cooper (@melodyMcooper) May 25, 2020
He told CBS2 he was was recording the encounter until she did so.
Her reaction sparked public outrage and, as a result, Amy Cooper lost her job and temporarily surrendered her dog. Up until Monday, she hadn’t faced charges.
After the incident, CBS2 spoke to the man who recorded the video, Chris Cooper.
“I wasn’t going to participate in my own dehumanization and feed that so I just kept recording,” he said. “It’s not just about her. She tapped into something that’s pervasive in our society that we all really need to address.”
The New York City Human Rights Commission is also investigating the incident.
Chris Cooper went on to write a comic book about the incident.
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