Amy Cooper, the white woman who was caught on camera calling 911 and falsely accusing Chris Cooper, an African-American man, of threatening her in Central Park, has been criminally charged with filing a false report, the Manhattan district attorney's office said Wednesday.
The video, which went viral in May, showed Amy frantically calling the police, while alleging that Chris, an avid birdwatcher, was threatening her after he simply asked her to leash her dog as they were in the Central Park Ramble, an area of the park where dogs are required to be leashed.
Amy became hysterical and dialed 911 as she is heard saying, "I'm going to tell them there's an African-American man threatening my life."
"I'm in the Ramble, there is a man, African-American, he has a bicycle helmet and he is recording me and threatening me and my dog," she told the dispatcher. "I am being threatened by a man in the Ramble, please send the cops immediately!"
The video was widely circulated on social media sparking public outrage and drawing renewed attention to the racism issue that white people falsely accuse Black people of crimes they didn't commit and often suffer horrifying consequences as a result.In the wake of the incident, Amy was fired from her job as the head of insurance portfolio management at Franklin Templeton and was forced to temporarily give up her dog back to the rescue organization she adopted it from.
'Amy Engaged in Racist Criminal Conduct'
She has now been charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, a misdemeanor charge, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.
"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 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," he added. "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."
If convicted of the charges, the misdemeanor false-report charge could land Amy in jail for up to a year, but she could be given a conditional discharge or sentenced to community service or counseling, instead of prison.