New York, United States: Charges against a white woman who called the police on a Black birdwatcher in New York’s Central Park were dropped Tuesday after she completed a program on racial bias, prosecutors said.
The clip posted on Twitter was filmed by the man, Christian Cooper (no relation), who said he had asked the woman to leash her dog.
Commentators accused her of putting Christian Cooper’s life in danger by trying to manipulate a police system that is regularly accused of brutality against members of the Black community.
Amy Cooper had risked one year in prison if convicted of filing a false police report.
Instead, she underwent five sessions of therapy about how “racial identities shape our lives,” prosecutor Joan Illuzzi told a judge, according to an account provided by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
A therapist reported that “it was a moving experience and that Ms Cooper learned a lot in their sessions together,” Illuzzi said, adding that prosecutors were now moving to dismiss the charges.
The incident prompted social media outrage, with users calling Amy Cooper a “Karen” — a term popular online to describe an entitled white woman.
“There is an African-American man, I’m in Central Park. He’s recording me and threatening me and threatening my dog,” she told the police operator.
According to the complaint, she then called the police back to say that the man had “tried to assault her.”
Video of the call came around the same time that footage went viral of a white Minneapolis police officer killing African-American man George Floyd.
Cooper was quickly fired from her job at Franklin Templeton, with the investment management company saying it did not tolerate “racism of any kind.”