Amy Cooper, otherwise known as the “Central Park Karen,” will now face criminal consequences after she called the police on a Black, gay man under false pretenses.

Cooper achieved notoriety this summer after a viral video showed her berating Christian Cooper (no relation), who had asked her to place a leash on her dog in accordance with park rules. Christian Cooper was watching birds in the Ramble, a wooded area of Central Park, and shared a video on Facebook of Ms. Cooper approaching him and saying that she would call the cops and tell them that an African-American man was threatening her life.

But prosecutors said Wednesday that Amy Cooper made a second, previously unreported call to the police, claiming that Christian Cooper “tried to assault her.” She has been charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, a misdemeanor.

“Our office is committed to safety, justice, and anti-racism, and we will hold people who make false and racist 911 calls accountable,” said Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance, Jr. in a statement. “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.”

“Our office will pursue a resolution of this case which holds Ms. Cooper accountable while healing our community, restoring justice, and deterring others from perpetuating this racist practice,” Vance continued.

The incident and the release of Ms. Cooper’s viral video happened in the same week as George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, highlighting the potentially deadly outcomes for Black people who have encounters with police officers.

In a May interview with CNN, Amy Cooper apologized for her behavior and maintained that she doesn’t harbor any racial prejudice. She also claimed that she had no intention of harming Christian Cooper. “[My] entire life is being destroyed right now,” she told CNN of the viral video.

Following the video’s release, Ms. Cooper was fired from her job at Franklin Templeton Investments, with the company tweeting that they “do not tolerate racism of any kind.” She was also forced to surrender her dog to Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue after observers on social media accused her of animal cruelty, pointing to how Cooper’s dog visibly struggled as she dragged him with a neck harness.



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