A white financier who called the police on a black man in Central Park and accused him of threatening her has been charged with filing a false police report.
Amy Cooper was asked on May 25 in Central Park by birdwatcher Christian Cooper to put her dog on a leash, as park guidelines dictate.
In a Facebook post, he claimed the dog was ‘tearing through the plantings’ in the Ramble area of the park, and told her she should go to another part of the park.
When she refused, he pulled out dog treats, causing her to scream at him to not come near her dog.
Cooper then called the police on Christian.
Amy Cooper engaged in a confrontation with Christian Cooper in Central Park in May
Cooper called the police on Memorial Day after Christian Cooper asked her to put her dog on a leash, as per the Central Park rules. Cooper accused Christian of threatening her life
Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan DA, announced charges on Monday against Amy Cooper
‘Today our office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree,’ said Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan district attorney.
‘We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable.’
Cooper was issued a desk appearance ticket and will be arraigned on October 14.
Signs in the Ramble request that the environment be protected for wildlife
If convicted, she could be given a conditional discharge or sentenced to community service or counseling rather than jail time.
Christian recorded the interaction on his phone, in video which then went viral.
‘I’m in the Ramble, there is a man, African-American, he has a bicycle helmet and he is recording me and threatening me and my dog,’ she said hysterically to the 911 operator as she gripped her dog’s collar tightly.
‘I am being threatened by a man in the Ramble, please send the cops immediately!’
Christian Cooper, a keen birdwatcher, was attacked by Amy after asking her to control her dog
When she hung up, and put her dog on a leash, Christian replied: ‘Thank you.’
The video then ends.
Christian, 57, a Harvard graduate who works in communications, has long been a prominent birder in the city and is on the board of the New York City Audubon Society.
In the aftermath of the video Cooper surrendered her dog, Henry, to the cocker spaniel rescue group she had adopted him from two years before.
She has since been reunited with the dog.
She has however been fired from her job as a head of insurance portfolio management at Franklin Templeton.
Cooper issued a public apology and tried to explain her response.
Cooper, pictured with Henry, has apologized for her behavior on May 25 in Central Park
‘I reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions when, in fact, I was the one who was acting inappropriately by not having my dog on a leash,’ she said in the statement.
Christian told The View that he accepts Cooper’s apology, but he believes the incident is part of a much deeper problem of racism in America that must be addressed.
‘I do accept her apology,’ Christian said.
‘I think it’s a first step. I think she’s gotta do some reflection on what happened because up until the moment when she made that statement it was just a conflict between a birder and a dog walker, and then she took it to a very dark place.
‘I think she’s gotta sort of examine why and how that happened.’
Since the May 25 incident, details of Cooper’s life have shown someone with a series of problems.
One of her neighbors in her Upper West Side apartment building has since said that Cooper vowed to get their doorman fired following a confrontation last winter.
The neighbor, Alison Faircloth, told the New York Times that she found Cooper on the ‘verge of tears’ after the doorman supposedly cursed at her for no reason.
Faircloth said she later asked the doorman about the confrontation and he said Cooper had complained about a broken elevator before forcing her way into a security booth and yelling at him.
The doorman told Faircloth that Cooper had to be removed a security guard.
‘There’s always a narrative from her about someone who has done her wrong,’ she said.
It has also since emerged that Cooper is now friends with, and goes on vacation with, the ex-wife of a man with whom she claims she had an affair.
Cooper filed a lawsuit in 2015 against Martin Priest – a married man she worked with at Lehman Brothers between 2005 to 2008.
In the lawsuit, Cooper said the pair were in a relationship and she had lent him $65,000 so he could divorce his wife and pay for another woman he was involved with to have an abortion.
Her lawsuit claims that after she gave him the money she found out Priest’s wife Tianna was pregnant and that he was going to marry another woman who was also pregnant.
Cooper filed the lawsuit to get back the $65,000.
Priest denies having a relationship with Cooper but says he did borrow money from her.