Amy Cooper, the white woman who went viral last spring for calling 911 on a black birdwatcher after he asked her to leash her dog in New York City’s Central Park, made a second, previously unreported phone call to 911 about the birdwatcher, according to prosecutors.
In May, Cooper became a symbol for institutionalized racism when video of her calling 911 on birdwatcher Chris Cooper went viral. In the video, she is seen saying, “I’m taking a picture and calling the cops. I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”
Amy Cooper became a national talking point and was fired from her job shortly after the video went viral. She subsequently issued an apology, telling CNN, “I’m not a racist. I didn’t mean to harm that man in that way.” In July, she was charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.
According to the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., Cooper made a second, previously unreported 911 call accusing Cooper of assaulting her. “When responding officers arrived, Ms. Cooper admitted that the male had not ‘tried to assault’ or come into contact with her,” a press release from the DA’s office said.
On Wednesday, she was charged in New York County Criminal Court with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, which carries with it up to a year of jail time. Cooper has not yet entered a plea and is currently negotiating with prosecutors to avoid jail time.
“Our Office is committed to safety, justice, and anti-racism, and we will hold people who make false and racist 911 calls accountable,” the DA’s statement said. “As alleged in the complaint, Amy Cooper engaged in racist criminal conduct when she falsely accused a Black man of trying to assault her in a previously unreported second call with a 911 dispatcher. Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the police response to Ms. Cooper’s hoax.”
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