NEW YORK – Amy Cooper, the white woman charged with filing a false police report for calling 911 during a dispute with a Black man in New York's Central Park in May, made a second, previously unreported call in which she falsely claimed the man had “tried to assault her,” a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon described the second call as Cooper was being arraigned by video in a case that had garnered worldwide attention but was put on hold for months because of the coronavirus pandemic. Cooper did not enter a plea to the misdemeanor charge.
In the first 911 call, which was captured on a widely seen video of the confrontation, Cooper told a dispatcher only that the man, a birdwatcher named Christian Cooper, was threatening her. The second call was not recorded on video, but a 911 dispatcher provided prosecutors with a sworn affidavit regarding the calls, Illuzzi said.
“Using a police in a way that is was both racially offensive and designed to intimidate is something that can't be ignored. Therefore we charged her,” said Illuzzi.
The case was adjourned until Nov. 17 to allow prosecutors and her lawyer to work on a possible resolution that Illuzzi said could see Cooper participating in a program to educate her and the community “on the harm caused by such actions.”
Illuzzi didn't get into details on what actions Cooper might be required to take, but she said the 40-year-old former investment portfolio manager would have to take responsibility for her actions. The criminal process “can be an opportunity for introspection and education,” Illuzzi said. The range of options could include some type of racial sensitivity training or a public awareness campaign.
Cooper drew widespread condemnation and was fired from her job at investment firm Franklin Templeton after frantically calling 911 to claim she was being threatened by “an African American man,” Christian Cooper, who had confronted her for walking her dog without a leash.
On the video Christian Cooper recorded of Amy Cooper, he sounded calm and appeared to keep a safe distance from her.
There is no relation between Christian Cooper and Amy Cooper.