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White Woman Who Called Police On Black Bird-Watcher Allegedly Made A Second 911 Call

Video of Amy Cooper calling the police on a Black man went viral on social media this summer. The man says he asked Cooper to put her dog on a leash in New York's Central Park.
Christian Cooper via Facebook
Screenshot by NPR
Video of Amy Cooper calling the police on a Black man went viral on social media this summer. The man says he asked Cooper to put her dog on a leash in New York's Central Park.

Amy Cooper, the white woman who was captured on cellphone video calling the police on a Black bird-watcher in Central Park this summer, also allegedly made a second 911 call. New York prosecutors say she falsely claimed the man "tried to assault her."

The second, previously unreported call was disclosed Wednesday, the same day she appeared at a hearing via video link to face a misdemeanor charge of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.

"Our Office is committed to safety, justice, and anti-racism, and we will hold people who make false and racist 911 calls accountable," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. said in a statement.

"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," Vance said. "Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the police response to Ms. Cooper's hoax."

In July, Vance said he initiated prosecution against Cooper over the incident. If convicted, she could face up to one year in jail, a fine or both.

The incident took place on Memorial Day, the same day thatGeorge Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police.

Her behavior as she called law enforcement for help has been widely criticized as racist and an example of a white person calling the police to report Black people for doing mundane activities.

Christian Cooper, who is Black and is not related to the woman, got into a verbal altercation with her in a wooded area of Central Park called the Ramble, which requires that dogs be leashed at all times.

Christian Cooper repeatedly asked the woman to leash her dog, which she initially refused to do, based on the video he shot.

At one point, Christian Cooper says to her, "Please don't come close to me."

Amy Cooper asks him to stop recording. When he refuses to do so, she tells him that she'll call the police on him.

"Please call the cops," Christian Cooper says to her.

She obliges. Amy Cooper says: "I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life."

And she repeatedly tells the dispatcher to send help.

After the incident became national news, she told CNN in a statement, "I'm not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way." She also said she didn't intend to hurt the African American community.

She was swiftly fired from her job at an investment management firm. "We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton," the company said in a tweet.

Christian Cooper told NPR in May that her actions were "pretty crappy without a doubt," but he said he wasn't sure the response to her actions was proportionate.

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Brakkton Booker
Brakkton Booker is a National Desk reporter based in Washington, DC.
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