Posted on July 6, 2020

Amy Cooper Faces Charges After Calling Police on Black Bird Watcher

Jan Ransom, New York Times, July 6, 2020

A white woman who called the police and falsely accused a Black man of threatening her life after he asked her to put her dog on a leash in Central Park faces a criminal charge, the Manhattan district attorney said on Monday.

Amy Cooper, the woman in the park encounter — which was recorded on video, touching off intense discussions about false police reports made by white people about Black people — will be charged with filing a false report, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

“Today our office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree,” Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the district attorney, said. {snip}

Ms. Cooper, who was issued a desk appearance ticket on Monday, is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 14. If convicted, she could receive a conditional discharge or be sentenced to community service or counseling rather than jail time.

The episode occurred on Memorial Day. Ms. Cooper, who had been walking with her dog, encountered Christian Cooper, an avid bird watcher, in the Ramble, a semi-wild part of the park where dogs must be leashed.

Mr. Cooper asked Ms. Cooper, who is not related to him, to leash her dog, he said. When she refused, he said, he tried to lure the dog with treats in hopes of compelling her to restrain her pet.

The encounter turned ugly when Ms. Cooper told Mr. Cooper that she was calling the police and planned to tell them that an African-American man was threatening her life.


Ms. Cooper, who had been a head of insurance portfolio management at Franklin Templeton, was fired from her job.