NEW YORK - Amy Cooper, the white woman who called the police on a Black man who was bird watching in Central Park, was charged Wednesday with a misdemeanor for falsely reporting an assault, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced.
The charges stem from the May 25 incident when Christian Cooper, an avid birder, asked Ms. Cooper to follow the rules in that part of Central Park and put a leash on her dog.
When she refused, Mr. Cooper, who is not related to Ms. Cooper, took out his phone and started filming the incident.
“I am going to tell them there is an African American man threatening my life,” Ms. Cooper is caught on camera saying to Mr. Cooper.
The video, released on social media, set off a firestorm, racking up more than 30 million views.
According to Vance's office, Ms. Cooper placed two calls to police telling them that she was being threatened. In the second call, which had not been previously reported, she told police that Mr. Cooper "tried to assault her."
Once officers arrived to the park, Ms. Cooper then back-tracked, admitting he did not assault her or come into contact with her.
“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 said in a statement.