WHITE WOMAN CHARGED IN CEN­TRAL PARK IN­CI­DENT

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION / WORLD | OBITUARIES - BY TOM HAYS

NEW YORK — A white woman who called the po­lice dur­ing a video­taped dis­pute with a Black man over her walk­ing her dog with­out a leash in Cen­tral Park was charged Mon­day with fil­ing a false po­lice re­port.

In May, Amy Cooper drew wide­spread con­dem­na­tion and was fired from her job af­ter fran­ti­cally call­ing 911 to claim she was be­ing threat­ened by “an African-Amer­i­can man,” bird watcher Chris­tian Cooper. On the video he recorded of the woman, he sounds calm and ap­pears to keep a safe dis­tance from her.

District At­tor­ney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a state­ment on Mon­day that his of­fice had charged Amy Cooper with falsely re­port­ing the con­fronta­tion, a mis­de­meanor that car­ries a max­i­mum penalty of a year be­hind bars. She was or­dered to ap­pear in court on Oct. 14.

Cooper’s at­tor­ney, Robert Barnes, said Cooper would fight the charge. His client, he said, has al­ready lost her liveli­hood and “her pub­lic life. Now some de­mand her free­dom?”

Reached by phone on Mon­day, Chris­tian Cooper said he had no re­ac­tion or com­ment.

Af­ter the back­lash, Amy Cooper re­leased an apol­ogy through a pub­lic re­la­tions ser­vice, say­ing she “re­acted emo­tion­ally and made false as­sump­tions about his in­ten­tions.”

“He had every right to re­quest that I leash my dog in an area where it was re­quired,” she said in the writ­ten state­ment. “I am well aware of the pain that mis­as­sump­tions and in­sen­si­tive state­ments about race cause and would never have imag­ined that I would be in­volved in the type of in­ci­dent that oc­curred with Chris.”

Amy Cooper’s 911 call was seen by many as a stark ex­am­ple of ev­ery­day racism and fu­eled out­rage in the pe­riod lead­ing up to the street protests sparked by the po­lice cus­tody death of Ge­orge Floyd. It also in­spired New York state law­mak­ers in June to pass a law that makes it eas­ier un­der civil rights law to sue an in­di­vid­ual who calls a po­lice of­fi­cer on some­one “with­out rea­son” be­cause of their back­ground, in­clud­ing race and na­tional ori­gin.

CHRIS­TIAN COOPER VIA AP

Amy Cooper is charged with falsely re­port­ing a Cen­tral Park con­fronta­tion, a mis­de­meanor.

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