A white woman whose encounter with a Black man birdwatching in Central Park in went viral in late May made a second call to 911 falsely claiming that he attempted to assault her that was previously unreported, according to prosecutors.
A confrontation in Central Park between Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper (no relation) amid a disagreement over her unleashed dog on May 25 went viral. Christian Cooper recorded Amy Cooper in a video calling 911 and frantically claiming that her “entire life is being destroyed” by an African-American man.
“I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” Amy Cooper could heard saying in the video. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life.”
On Wednesday, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office filed a misdemeanor charge against Amy Cooper and revealed that she had made a second 911 call about the encounter, which was not shown in the viral video. During her second call, Amy Cooper allegedly accused Christian Cooper of endangering her life and claimed that he was trying to assault her.
A criminal complaint filed by the DA’s office noted that when police arrived, Amy Cooper told an officer that she made false reports, and denied that Christian Cooper touched or assaulted her.
Amy Cooper and her attorney appeared before a judge on Wednesday morning, but no plea was entered. The case is adjourned until November 17 in order to give Cooper’s attorney, Robert Barnes, and prosecutors time to work out details on a possible disposition.
According to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr., Cooper was charged in New York County Criminal Court with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.
The viral video of the Central Park encounter was filmed on the same day Minneapolis Police killed George Floyd, whose death sparked nationwide protests against police brutality against Black people.
In a statement, Vance deemed Amy Cooper’s actions as racist and that her called her calls to the police a “hoax.”
“Our Office is committed to safety, justice, and anti-racism, and we will hold people who make false and racist 911 calls accountable,” Vance said in a statement. “As alleged in the complaint, Amy Cooper engaged in racist criminal conduct when she falsely accused a Black man of trying to assault her in a previously unreported second call with a 911 dispatcher. Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the police response to Ms. Cooper’s hoax.”