Case dismissed against woman in viral Central Park confrontation after she completes therapy sessions
The case against Amy Cooper, the White woman who was seen on camera calling 911 and falsely accusing a Black man of threatening her in Central Park, has been dismissed, CBS New York reports. The video, recorded in May, showed her frantically calling police and alleging that Christian Cooper (no relation) was threatening her.
Prosecutors also said Amy Cooper made a second call that day claiming that Christian Cooper also tried to assault her. She faced a misdemeanor charge of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree. That charge was dismissed Tuesday.
The dismissal comes after Amy Cooper did five therapy sessions incorporating racial equity with 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," said Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi. "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 Christian Cooper declined to be involved, the DA still pursued the case 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."
The case against Amy Cooper is now sealed.
Her lawyer issued a statement praising the DA's office for its "thorough & honest inquiry" and its dismissal of the case. "Others rushed to the wrong conclusion based on inadequate investigation & they may yet face legal consequences," attorney Robert Barnes added, without specifying who he thought misjudged her actions.
Last May, Christian Cooper, an avid bird watcher, was in the Central Park Ramble, an area where dogs must be leashed. After he asked Amy Cooper to follow the rules and leash her dog, she threatened to call the cops. When he encouraged her to do so, she responded, "I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life."
Her conduct sparked public outrage and, as a result, she lost her job and temporarily surrendered her dog. Christian Cooper later said he was "uncomfortable" with the fierce backlash directed against her.
"I don't know whether she's a racist or not," Christian Cooper told "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King last year. "I don't know her life. I don't know how she lives it. That act was unmistakably racist even if she didn't realize it in the moment."
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