'If we can make that arrest, we will': The NYPD is considering false-threat charges against Amy Cooper

ischer@businessinsider.com (Isaac Scher)
Amy Cooper gained viral notoriety after a confrontation with a black man who asked her to leash her dog in Manhattan's Central Park.

Melody Cooper/Twitter

  • The New York Police Department and Manhattan District Attorney are in talks about potential charges for Amy Cooper, an official said Friday.
  • "We're taking a look at exactly what the calls were, speaking to Christian, speaking to Amy, speaking to everyone involved, looking through all the videos to see if it sustains a charge," NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan told WPIX.
  • Amy Cooper, who is white, gained viral infamy after Christian Cooper, a black man, told her to leash her dog in Central Park's Ramble, which is required.
  • Amy Cooper threatened Christian Cooper, telling him: "I'm going to tell [the police] there's an African American man threatening my life."
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The New York Police Department and the Manhattan District Attorney are considering charges for Amy Cooper, the white woman who called the police on black bird-watcher Christian Cooper, an official said Friday.

"Our detectives are working hand in hand right now with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office," NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan told WPIX.

"Obviously, we don't want to make an arrest if the [DA's office] isn't sure if they can prosecute that," Monahan said. "So we're taking a look at exactly what the calls were, speaking to Christian, speaking to Amy, speaking to everyone involved, looking through all the videos to see if it sustains a charge." 

"The uproar because of this, what she's caused because of that call, we condemn that action," he added. "And if we can make that arrest, we will."

On Monday, Christian Cooper was birdwatching in Central Park when he came across Amy Cooper (no relation) in the park's Ramble and asked her to leash her dog.

Dogs must be leashed in the Ramble, according to the Central Park Conservancy website

In response, Amy Cooper said she was going to call the police.

"I'm taking a picture and calling the cops," she told him. "I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life."

She did call the police, though neither she nor Christian Cooper was at the scene when the police arrived.

Christian Cooper recorded the incident, which went viral. Now authorities are considering filing charges related to false threats. 

"If someone intentionally makes a false call and we can prove it, they will be arrested right away. There is no place for that in this city," Monahan said. 

At a Thursday press briefing, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a probe into a potential false-claim charge. 

"I think there's a very valid question about calling the police for any false claim of a crime," De Blasio said, according to Report Door. "I don't know the law, but that's the direction I would look at. Did she commit an offense by falsely accusing someone? That to me is the thing we need to better ascertain."

Read more: 

The man who filmed his encounter with a woman in Central Park says her actions were 'definitely racist,' but he's asking people to stop making death threats against her

How the name Karen became a stand-in for problematic white women and a hugely popular meme

The white woman who called 911 after a black bird-watcher asked her to leash her dog has 'voluntarily surrendered' her pet to an animal rescue

A New York woman who called the police and falsely claimed that there was an 'African-American man threatening her life' said her actions were 'unacceptable'

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