The case against Amy Cooper, the white woman who called police to falsely accuse an African American man of threatening her life in Central Park last May, has been dismissed.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday February 16, dropped the misdemeanor criminal charge against Amy Cooper after she completed education and therapy classes on racial equity as part of a “restorative justice program.”
Cooper was facing a misdemeanor charge for falsely reporting an assault during an encounter with birdwatcher Christian Cooper, who asked her to leash her dog in the Central Park Ramble on May 25, 2020.
She infamously became known as “Central Park Karen” after the encounter, which Cooper recorded on his cellphone and shared it online. (watch the video here)
“Given the issues at hand and Ms. Cooper’s lack of criminal background, we offered her, consistent with our position on many misdemeanor cases involving a first arrest, an alternative, restorative justice resolution; designed not just to punish but to educate and promote community healing,” Assistant DA Joan Illuzzi said in court, according to a statement.
The Critical Therapy Center provided classes to Cooper that “focused on the ways in which Ms. Cooper could appreciate that racial identities shape our lives but we cannot use them to harm ourselves or others,” Illuzzi said.
“Having completed 5 sessions, Ms. Cooper’s therapist reported that it was a moving experience and that Ms. Cooper learned a lot in their sessions together,” she added.
Amy Cooper had been charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree. Illuzzi moved to dismiss the charge, and the judge granted the motion, the statement said.
The charge stemmed from a May 25 confrontation in a wooded area of Central Park between Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper (no relation).
Amid a disagreement over her unleashed dog, Amy Cooper called 911 and said that a Black man was threatening her, according to video of the incident he filmed.
“I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” she says in video of the incident. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”
A 911 dispatcher called her back and she repeated the accusation, adding that the man “tried to assault her,” according to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.’s office.
“When responding officers arrived, Ms. Cooper admitted that the male had not ‘tried to assault’ or come into contact with her,” a release from the DA’s office said.