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The New York City woman who called the police on a Black birdwatcher for asking her to put her dog on a leash in Central Park now faces a charge of filing a false police report.
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office announced Monday that Amy Cooper, a white woman who ignited a firestorm after she was caught on video falsely accusing Black birder Christian Cooper (no relation) of threatening her life, will now face a misdemeanor charge of filing a false report, The New York Times reported.
“Today our office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said. “We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable.”
Amy Cooper is ordered to appear in court on October 14, according to the Associated Press.
Christian Cooper was birdwatching in Central Park in late May when he came across Amy Cooper with her dog in an area of the park known as the Bramble, where pets are required to be leashed. After Christian Cooper asked Amy Cooper to put a leash on her dog and she refused, he began filming the encounter — which quickly escalated into Amy Cooper threatening to call the police on him.
"There is an African American man, I am in Central Park, he is recording me and threatening myself and my dog," she can be heard telling police in video of the incident.
By the time police arrived at the scene, both parties had left and no arrests were made, according to CNN.
Christian Cooper said in later interviews that Amy Cooper was tapping into "a deep, deep dark vein of racism" in the manner she used the police, but expressed remorse about what has happened to her since the video was released.
“Any of us can make — not necessarily a racist mistake, but a mistake,” Christian Cooper told The New York Times in a previous interview. “And to get that kind of tidal wave in such a compressed period of time, it’s got to hurt. It’s got to hurt. ... I’m not excusing the racism. But I don’t know if her life needed to be torn apart.”
Amy Cooper has made several public apologies for her actions documented in the video.
"I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man, his family," she told local station told WNBC. "It was unacceptable and I humbly and fully apologize to everyone who’s seen that video, everyone that’s been offended … everyone who thinks of me in a lower light and I understand why they do.”
Soon after the video went viral, her employer — investment firm Franklin Templeton — announced they had terminated Amy Cooper. She also briefly lost custody of her dog, but the pet was returned to her care in June.
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