Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves a white woman who called the police on a Black birdwatcher in central park and what prosecutors are alleging.
Amy Cooper drew national criticism and was branded a “Karen” after the man recorded her in a cellphone video complaining to a 911 operator that she was being harassed by an “African American man” and that he was threatening her and her dog. She had been walking the dog without a leash in a wooded area of the park where such activity is prohibited, and the man took issue with what she was doing.
Cooper was charged with a misdemeanor count of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.
The woman “twice reported” that the Black man was putting her in harm’s way, “first by stating that he was threatening her and her dog, then in a second call indicating that he tried to assault her in the Ramble area of the park,” Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi said at Cooper’s arraignment in Manhattan criminal court.
Cooper appeared in front of a judge through a remote video feed for the first time on Wednesday. Seated in front of a bare white wall and wearing a black turtleneck sweater, she answered the judge’s standard questions with “yes, your honor,” but did not otherwise address
Prosecutors said Cooper is in talks to settle her criminal case in a way that “can provide an opportunity for introspection and education.”
The program she is expected to consider is “designed to have the defendant take responsibility for her actions but also educate her and the community about the harm caused by such action,” Illuzzi said. “We hope that this process will enlighten, heal and prevent similar harm to our community in the future.”
Cooper called the New York Police Department for help during her encounter with Christian Cooper(absolutely no relation) during a confrontation at about 8:15 a.m. on May 25 in a serene wooded area of Central Park. News of the incident broke around the same time that George Floyd was killed during a police encounter in Minneapolis, fueling a national movement against racial injustice.
Christian Cooper, a birdwatcher who frequents that area of the park, spotted the woman and asked her to put her dog on a leash. He considered himself a protector of the area, which serves as an urban haven for local fowl. He has said that he tried to lure the dog with a treat, which he carried with him for such situations.
The efforts seemed to have escalated the conflict between the two parkgoers.
“He is recording me and threatening myself and my dog,” she said, appearing frantic on the call with a 911 dispatcher.
Amy Cooper, who is from the Upper West Side was fired from her job at the Franklin Templeton investment firm after the video went viral online. She was widely viewed as having used white privilege to get action against the man with whom she was arguing based on the language she used in the call.