Jul 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Amy Cooper charged for calling police on Black bird-watcher in Central Park

A white woman who called 911 to accuse a Black man of threatening her life in Central Park in March faces misdemeanor charges for making a false report, the Manhattan District Attorney's office announced Monday.

The big picture: The May 25 incident, which was caught on film, was one of several viral episodes that helped catalyze massive Black Lives Matter protests against the police killings of Black people in the U.S.

  • Amy Cooper told 911 that an African American man was threatening her life after he asked her to put her dog on a leash.
  • Amy Cooper referred to Christian Cooper as "an African American" three times during her 911 call, per the New York Times.
  • The event touched off "intense discussions about false police reports made by white people about Black people," the Times reports.

What they're saying:

“Today our Office 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.”
— Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance

What's next: Cooper's arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 14. She faces misdemeanor charges that are punishable with up to a year in jail, per the Times.

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