A day before the US was consumed with Black Lives Matter protests and riots in late May, Amy Cooper became the poster child for white privilege when she called the police on a black man, the unrelated Christian Cooper, in Central Park, claiming he was “threatening” her life as he asked her to put her dog on a leash.
A video of the incident, filmed by the black man, went viral. Cooper was ridiculed online, dubbed ‘Central Park Karen’, had her dog temporarily confiscated and was even fired from her job.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office filed a misdemeanor charge against Cooper on Wednesday, for “falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.” Prosecutors claimed her call amounted to “racist criminal conduct.”
— Zack Fink (@ZackFinkNews) October 14, 2020
Aside from the call caught on camera, prosecutors revealed that Cooper made a second 911 call, in which she claimed the man had “tried to assault her.”
The charges resurrected a story that’s been buried by the events of the summer. Commenters and pundits savaged Cooper online, with CNN commentator Keith Boykin comparing her call to the false report that led to the lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Mississippi in 1955.
The fact that she made a second call wherein she accused him of assaulting her and never attempted to cop to it in the months since tells me all I need to know about the sincerity of her apology and how extreme the consequences of her actions should be. https://t.co/Lqei6m2xlh
— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) October 14, 2020
She made two 911 calls. In the second one, she falsely accused Christian Cooper of assaulting her.
This follows a centuries-long pattern of white women making false accusations against us, going back to the Scottsboro Boys and Emmett Till. https://t.co/bRPAtYeTEW
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 14, 2020
Yeah… Show of hands who isn’t surprised that ‘Central Park Karen’, aka Amy Cooper, made a second 911 call to falsely accuse a black man birdwatching of assaulting her.#CauseItsWhatRacistsDo #CentralParkKaren https://t.co/xdPqRtsGfI
— Hadley Sheley (@HadleySheley) October 14, 2020
While a massive number of commentators have been accusing the woman of “white privilege” and “racism,” some have defended Cooper. “He threatened her and her dog,” journalist Cassandra Fairbanks tweeted when the story first broke, referring to Christian Cooper’s vague warning to Amy that she was “not going to like” what he would do next, before trying to lure her dog away with food.
Also worth nothing that we have only heard Christian Cooper’s OWN account of him directly threatening a lone woman in a park. He thought it made him seem even more like the good guy! pic.twitter.com/RemOOCW50w
— Celine D. Ryan 💀 (@celinedryan) May 26, 2020
Following the encounter, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that penalized calling the police on a black person or member of another “protected class,” if the caller had no reason to believe a crime was being committed. The bill inspired lawmakers in San Francisco, who introduced the Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies (CAREN) Act in July.
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