Case dismissed against Amy Cooper, who called police on Black birdwatcher in viral Central Park video
17 February, 2021, 01:10
A misdemeanour charge was dropped on Tuesday against a white New York City woman originally from Canada who became an internet video sensation last spring when she falsely claimed a Black man threatened her in Manhattan's Central Park, her lawyer said.
She completed five "psychoeducation and therapy" sessions that helped her "appreciate that racial identities shape our lives" and that "we can not use them to harm ourselves or others", Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi said.
"Ms. Cooper's therapist reported that it was a moving experience, and Ms. Cooper learned a lot in their sessions together", the prosecutor said during the hearing, according to the Post.
Amy Cooper was arraigned in NY in October on a charge of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
In a hearing for the dismissal of the case that took less than 10 minutes on Tuesday, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzi presented to a judge that the district attorney's office had offered Amy Cooper a "restorative alternative" to facing charges for the incident in Central Park that included five therapy sessions.
This May 25, 2020 image, taken from video provided by Christian Cooper, shows Amy Cooper with her dog calling police at Central Park in NY. The exchange elevated and Christian Cooper tried to lure the woman's dog with a treat.
Cooper, who appeared via video during the virtual hearing, only spoke briefly and said that she did not wish to address the court.
Cooper's case made national headlines in late May when she came upon bird-watcher Christian Cooper while walking her off-leash dog in Central Park.
"I'm taking a picture and calling the cops", Amy Cooper could be heard saying in the viral video.
"The simple principle is: One cannot use the police to threaten another and, in this case, in a racially offensive and charged manner", Illuzzi said.
Illuzzi said that based on Amy Cooper's reports, "the police could have easily found [Christian Cooper] before they spoke further to [Amy Cooper]" and that "certainly he would have been held and held forcibly if he resisted". She walks over to him and asks him to stop recording to which he refused.
"There is an African-American man, I'm in Central Park".
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