In late May, the “Central Park Karen” incident became a national story. A black bird-watcher named Christian Cooper asked a white woman, Amy Cooper, to leash her dog. She called the cops on him and he recorded her side of call, which included her feigning hysteria about an “African-American man threatening me.” It was the same kind of intensity white women have brought, historically, when trying to get black children or black men lynched. She even choked and hurt her dog and attempted to get in Christian Cooper’s face too. It was disgusting. The whole thing was horrible.
What came after was interesting though. Christian Cooper became something of a celebrity, complete with lovely profiles in newspapers and bird-watching photoshoots. The Biden campaign reached out to him and he did an on-camera endorsement for Joe Biden too. Meanwhile, Amy Cooper’s dog was taken away from her for several weeks and then returned. She lost her job and she got outed as a racist a–hole. And now she’s being charged with a crime. A misdemeanor.
Amy Cooper, the white woman who called police on a Black bird watcher who had asked her to leash her dog in a section of New York City’s Central Park, will face misdemeanor charges in the incident, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance announced on Monday.
“Today our Office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree,” the D.A. said in a press release. “Our office will provide the public with additional information as the case proceeds. At this time I would like to encourage anyone who has been the target of false reporting to contact our Office. We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable.”
The desk appearance ticket was issued to Amy for an arraignment on Oct. 14, the release said. Amy — who was fired from her job in the aftermath and temporarily lost custody of her pet — has since apologized multiple times for the incident, calling it “unacceptable” to WNBC.
“I’m not a racist,” she told CNN. “I did not mean to harm that man in any way. [My] entire life is being destroyed right now.”
Initially, NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker said that police — who arrived on the Central Park scene to find both parties gone — would not be pursuing charges against Amy.
The Amy Cooper crime happened, within the newscycle, about 24 hours before George Floyd’s murder in Minnesota. I remember several people making the (correct) point that Amy Cooper was absolutely trying to get that result, the result of cops murdering a black man. That was her goal. Which is attempted murder. Making a false police report, reporting a completely made-up crime in the hopes of getting a man lynched… that should be a felony. Not a misdemeanor. And no, I don’t give a f–k about Amy Cooper’s life being destroyed.
Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Bramble in NY’s Central Park, where it is clearly posted on signs that dogs MUST be leashed at all times, and someone like my brother (an avid birder) politely asks her to put her dog on the leash. pic.twitter.com/3YnzuATsDm
— Melody Cooper (@melodyMcooper) May 25, 2020
Photos courtesy of screencaps from video, NYT IG.