A white woman who called 911 and falsely claimed a Black man was threatening her life now faces a criminal charge, according to a New York City prosecutor. Amy Cooper, who had been asked by an avid birdwatcher to leash her dog, will be charged with a misdemeanor count of filing a false police report.
“We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable," said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. on Monday.
Amy Cooper was videotaped by Chris Cooper, the man she wrongly accused. The two are not related. Chris Cooper posted the footage to social media after the May encounter, which went viral and fueled intense discussions about white people falsely blaming Black people.
Amy Cooper, who was issued a desk appearance ticket on Monday, is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 14.
Chris Cooper said he encountered the woman while bird watching in The Ramble, a section of Central Park where dogs must be on a leash. When she refused, Chris Cooper said he tried to lure the dog with treats so she would have to restrain the pup.
The video shows the woman saying she was going to call 911 and say an African American man was threatening her and her dog. He encourages her to call.
She does. Clutching her dog by the collar so tightly the animal yelps, the woman is seen adopting a frightened tone of voice and telling the operator: “I’m in the Ramble, there is a man, African American, he has a bicycle helmet and he is recording me and threatening me and my dog.
"I am being threatened by a man in the Ramble, please send the cops immediately!” she says before hanging up.
"Thank you," Chris Cooper tells her as she leashes her dog.
After the video went viral, the woman lost her job. She apologized publicly, saying in a statement: “I reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions when, in fact, I was the one who was acting inappropriately by not having my dog on a leash."