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, is now facing charges of filing a false report, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement on Monday.
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 dialled 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.
Charged with Filing a False Report
"Today our office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree," Vance said on Monday, adding that he "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."
Amy is scheduled to be arraigned in court on Oct. 14. If she is convicted, the misdemeanor false-report charge could land her 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.
"Once all the facts are known, Amy Cooper will be found not guilty of the single, misdemeanor charge filed in this case. The rush to judgment by some in the public, in this cancel culture epidemic, will be proven as wrong as cancel culture itself. She lost her job, her home, and her public life. Now some demand her freedom? How many lives are we going to destroy over misunderstood 60-second videos on social media?" said Robert Barnes, Amy's attorney.