Amy Cooper, a white financer, called cops on a black man accusing him of threatening her. She has been charged with filing a false report.
On 25 June, a black bird watcher, Christian Cooper, asked Cooper to leash her dog as per park’s guidelines. On Facebook, Christian said that the dog was spoiling all the plantations in the Ramble area of the park. He asked her to go to any other park.
Amy refused. So, Christian took out some dog treats to which the woman started screaming and asked him to not come near her or the dog.
That is when she called police on Christian on the grounds of threatening her.
Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan district attorney, said,
“Today our office initiated prosecution of Amy Cooper for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree. We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable.”
"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.” https://t.co/F3h1Ys6UDn
— Cyrus Vance, Jr. (@ManhattanDA) July 6, 2020
Cooper was issued a desk appearance ticket. She’ll be summoned on 14th October.
If she is condemned, she’ll be discharged on conditions like communal service and counseling rather than jail.
Christian recorded the video of the incident and it went viral. Amy can be heard saying:
“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 said hysterically to the 911 operator as she gripped her dog’s collar tightly. I am being threatened by a man in the Ramble, please send the cops immediately!”
She hung up and put her dog on a leash. Christian replied, “thank you” and the video ends.
Christian is 57 years old and is a Harvard graduate. He works in communication and has long been a prominent birder in the city. Also, he is on the board of the New York City Audubon Society.
After the video, Cooper surrendered her dog to the cocker spaniel rescue group from where she adopted her dog, Henry, two years ago.
For two years, she has been with the dog. However, she has been fired from her job as a head of insurance portfolio management at Franklin Templeton.
Ultimately, Amy Cooper issued a public apology explaining her sudden outburst.
I reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions when, in fact, I was the one who was acting inappropriately by not having my dog on a leash.
Christian forgave Cooper for her unreasonable reaction. He also said that the incident is a part of a much deeper problem in America which requires a special need to be addressed.
“I do accept her apology,” Christian said.
“I think it’s the first step. I think she’s gotta 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 gotta sort of examine why and how that happened.”
Since this incident, Cooper’s life has witnessed a series of problems.
Cooper lost her job following the incident.
Cooper’s neighbor revealed that Cooper swore to fire their doorman since last winter. The neighbor, Alison Faircloth, told the New York Times that she found Cooper on the ‘verge of tears’ after the doorman supposedly cursed at her for no reason.
Faircloth inquired the doorman about the confrontation. The doorman said that Cooper complained about the broken elevator before forcing her way into the security booth and she started yelling.
In 2015, Cooper filed a lawsuit against Martin Priest. Priest is a married man with whom Amy worked at Lehman Brothers between 2005 to 2008.
In the lawsuit, Cooper said the pair were in a relationship and she had lent him $65,000 so he could divorce his wife and pay for another woman he was involved with to have an abortion.
Her lawsuit claims that she lent money to Priest. After that, she got to know that Priest’s wife was pregnant and he was going to marry another woman who was also pregnant.
So, she filed the lawsuit to claim her money back. Martin says that he didn’t have any relationship with Cooper but he did borrow some money from her
Legal experts shared some strong opinions.
According to legal experts, people are rarely charged for false accusations. The authorities think that it would discourage people to report crimes. Also, it can be difficult to prove that a person filed a false report knowingly.
But the experts say that the accusations of Amy Cooper were clearly false and the video is a piece of strong evidence against her. It could have a broader implication in other false reports filed by white people against black people.
“To the extent that this woman was arguably deploying racial stereotypes and weaponizing them, it will make people think twice,” said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor, and a retired federal judge. “It is a big deal.”