Amy Cooper Made Second 911 Call Against Black Bird-Watcher Falsely Accusing Him Of Assaulting Her
Amy Cooper, the white woman who called 911 falsely accusing a black bird-watcher in Central Park, made a second call to the police claiming the man “tried to assault her,” a prosecutor said on Wednesday.
According to senior prosecutor Joan Illuzzi, “The defendant twice reported that an African American man was putting her in danger, first by stating that he was threatening her and her dog, then making a second call indicating that he tried to assault her in the Ramble area of the park.”
Illuzzi stated that Cooper’s actions were “something that can’t be ignored” given that the way she used the police was “both racially offensive and designed to intimidate.”
Cooper appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court remotely to answer for the misdemeanor charge of filing a false report. The prosecutor stated Cooper was negotiating a possible plea deal in order to avoid going to jail. She added that the Manhattan district attorney’s office was exploring ways to resolve the case that would involve Cooper taking responsibility for her actions more publicly, in an educational context.
“We hope this process will enlighten, heal and prevent similar harm to our community in the future,” Illuzzi said.
The case was adjourned until Nov. 17.
News of the second 911 call is just the latest development in this story that began Memorial Day weekend this year, when Cooper called 911 on a black man after he told her calmly to leash her dog as required by park regulations. During the first call, she falsely claimed she was being threatened, emphasizing the words “African-American man.”
Video of the incident was shot by Christian Cooper (no relation to Amy Cooper), the man being falsely accused, and went viral thanks, in part, to its timing. Just the day before, the country erupted in protests over the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. The incident added fuel to the fire as people expressed outrage over such acts of everyday racism and rallied behind the Black Lives Matter movement.
In July, Cooper was charged with filing a false report, which is punishable by up to a year in jail. The criminal charge did not change despite the evidence of Ms. Cooper’s second 911 call. The charge marks one of the first times a white person in the U.S. has been charged for making a false complaint about a black person to the police.
“We will hold people who make false and racist 911 calls accountable,” said the Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. on Wednesday.