Feb 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Case dismissed against woman who called police on Black bird-watcher

Amy Cooper on the View
Footage of Amy Cooper in Central Park, filmed by bird watcher Chris Cooper last Memorial Day and posted to Facebook. The video played on The View in May 2020. Photo: The View/Chris Cooper

Prosecutors have dropped the case against Amy Cooper, a white woman who called 911 to falsely accuse a Black bird watcher of threatening her life in Central Park last spring, the New York Times reports.

What they're saying: A Manhattan judge agreed to drop the misdemeanor charge of filing a false report after Cooper "completed a therapeutic educational program that included instruction about racial biases," per the Times.

  • Cooper held five sessions with her therapist and "learned a lot" from the experience, prosecutor Joan Illuzzi said.

Flashback: The incident in May last year, 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.

Christian Cooper, the bird watcher who filmed Cooper's response after he asked her to put her dog on a leash, told the View last year that he had accepted her apology.

  • “I think it’s a first step. I think she’s got to do some reflection on what happened because up until the moment when she made that statement … it was just a conflict between a birder and a dog walker, and then she took it to a very dark place. I think she’s got to sort of examine why and how that happened," he said at the time.
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