NEW YORK — The white woman who called the cops on a Black birdwatcher in Central Park for asking her to leash her dog faces criminal charges for calling in the fake threat.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance on Monday stated his office had “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. We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable,” the statement added.
Mayor Bill de Blasio lauded Vance’s decision to prosecute Amy Cooper in a statement posted to Twitter.
“Her racist behavior could have had dire consequences for a Black man. Glad she’ll face consequences of her own,” the mayor tweeted.
In a viral video that has been viewed more than 100 million times, the 41-year-old Manhattan woman confronted Christian Cooper, an avid bird watcher, in the Ramble in Central Park on May 25 after he asked that she put her Cocker Spaniel on a leash.
As Christian Cooper captured the encounter on his phone, Amy Cooper demanded he stop filming or she would call the police.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she said, her voice rising with hysteria as she spoke to a 911 operator.
The call was widely viewed as yet another example of a privileged white person making a false accusation against a Black man — which could have put his safety in jeopardy.
Christian Cooper, a dedicated conservationist and board member of the New York City Audubon Society, told the New York Daily News that he asked the woman to put a leash on her dog because the small section of Central Park is a protected space home to dozens of bird species.
“It’s a longstanding problem in the Ramble. It is a protected space. The Ramble is a jewel, a remarkable green and growing place that hosts an array of wildlife,” he told the Daily News.
“There are clearly posted rules. Dogs have to be on leashes. If there had been regular enforcement, Ms. Cooper and I might have never had our dust-up.”
As video of Amy Cooper’s racist tirade quickly went viral, she was named by two dog walkers who recognized her — and promptly fired from her job as a portfolio manager for financial firm Franklin Templeton.
She apologized to Christian Cooper through media interviews, claiming to a reporter that she had “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 later said on CNN that her “entire life is being destroyed right now.”
If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail.
©2020 New York Daily News
Visit New York Daily News at www.nydailynews.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.