Amy Cooper charged after calling police on Black birdwatcher

Amy Cooper: Officials plan to file charges after false report against Black man

NEW YORK CITY — Authorities in New York City on Monday announced plans to file charges against Amy Cooper two months after she was seen on video calling police on a Black birdwatcher in Central Park.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said his office launched a prosecution of Cooper for third-degree falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor. Authorities issued a desk appearance ticket for Cooper ahead of an arraignment scheduled for Oct. 14.

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“At this time I would like to encourage anyone who has been the target of false reporting to contact our Office,” Vance said Monday in a statement. “We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable.”

Under New York law, a person can face a charge of third-degree falsely reporting an incident if he or she is suspected of reporting or circulating information known to be false under circumstances “in which it is not unlikely that public alarm or inconvenience will result.”

Christian Cooper, who is Black and not related to Amy Cooper, began recording video to his cellphone in May after he said he tried to talk to Amy Cooper about her dog being unleashed in an area of Central Park known as the Ramble. Dogs are supposed to be leashed in the area.

In the video, Amy Cooper could be heard threatening to call the cops and “tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life” although no such altercation occurred.

Amy Cooper later apologized for the situation, telling CNN that she is not racist and “did not mean to harm that man in any way.”

In the furor that erupted nationwide after the incident, Amy Cooper lost her job at investment company Franklin Templeton and briefly lost custody of her dog.

Visitors explore the Ramble section of Central Park, known for birdwatching, on Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, in New York.
Visitors explore the Ramble section of Central Park, known for birdwatching, on Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, in New York. (Bebeto Matthews/AP, File)