By CBSNewYork Team

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A misdemeanor charge has been dismissed against Amy Cooper.

Last May, Cooper called the police, falsely accusing a Black birdwatcher of threatening her in Central Park.

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The birdwatcher recorded the exchange on his cellphone.

She faced up to a year in prison for falsely reporting an incident.

Prosecutors also said that Amy Cooper made a second call that day claiming Chris Cooper also tried to assault her.

The dismissal comes after Amy Cooper did five therapy sessions that incorporate racial equity with Manhattan Justice Opportunities. Her therapist said, “it was a moving experience,” CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi applauded Manhattan Justice Opportunities.

“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,” Illuzzi said. “Manhattan Justice Opportunities answered the call to assist. They engaged Ms. Cooper in a comprehensive, respectful program designed towards introspection and progress.”

Illuzi said even though Chris Cooper declined to be involved, the DA still pursued this because “we determined that the defendant’s offense wasn’t solely against one individual, but was a threat to the community if allowed to go unchecked.”

Susan Abraham, a professor at New York Law School, says this was not restorative justice because restorative justice requires a wrongdoer to affirmatively take accountability for the harm and contribute to the healing of those who have been harmed.

“To have it go deeper and to have her really own it and hear it from people who have been harmed and that’s what makes it restorative in some sense,” Abraham said.

Illuzi said even though Chris Cooper declined to be involved, the DA still pursued this because “we determined that the defendant’s offense wasn’t solely against one individual, but was a threat to the community if allowed to go unchecked.”

Amy Cooper’s attorney released the following statement:

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.

Rozner asked her lawyer what he meant by that. A rep would only say Amy’s story will be released over the next few days, and that her lawyer will be holding a press conference where she’ll make a brief appearance.

The case against Amy Cooper is now sealed.

Chris Cooper’s reaction to the charge being dismissed?

“I am far more outraged by the U.S. Congress, which continues to deny the mostly Black and Brown people of the District of Columbia statehood and the representation every American deserves than by anything Amy Cooper did. That gross racial injustice could be fixed by Congress now, today, and that’s what people should be focused on — not last year’s events in Central Park,” Chris Cooper told CBS2.

WEB EXTRARead the complaint (.pdf)

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.

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.

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.

New York state subsequently passed a law making false, race-based 911 calls a hate crime.

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Chris Cooper went on to write a comic book about the incident.

CBSNewYork Team