The legal case against a white woman caught on video calling police to claim a Black bird-watcher was threatening her in Central Park was dropped on Tuesday.
Prosecutors in Manhattan Supreme Court introduced they had been now not pursuing a misdemeanor cost against Amy Cooper, who was accused of falsely reporting an incident within the third diploma.
She accomplished 5 “psychoeducation and therapy” classes that helped her “appreciate that racial identities shape our lives” and that “we cannot use them to harm ourselves or others,” Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi mentioned.
“Ms. Cooper’s therapist reported that it was a moving experience and that Ms. Cooper learned a lot in their sessions together,” the prosecutor added. “Having completed the restorative justice program to our satisfaction, we now move to dismiss.”
But Cooper’s defense lawyer struck a more defiant tone in a statement issued after court. While thanking prosecutors “for his or her integrity,” attorney Robert Barnes lashed out via Twitter.
“Others rushed to the incorrect conclusion primarily based on insufficient investigation & they might but face authorized penalties,” Barnes tweeted.
Cooper’s case made national headlines in late May when she came upon bird-watcher Christian Cooper while walking her off-leash dog in Central Park.
Christian Cooper, who is not related to Amy Cooper, asked the woman to put her dog on a leash and offered the pooch a dog treat before she called police. Christian Cooper recorded the encounter with Amy Cooper. The footage made the rounds on social media and drew widespread outrage as an example of police being called on an African American who was not committing any crime.
“I’m taking an image and calling the cops,” Amy Cooper could be heard saying in the viral video. “I’m going to inform them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”
Christian Cooper declined comment on the case when reached by NBC News on Tuesday.
“Mr. Cooper didn’t want to take part within the legal justice course of however we decided that the defendant’s offense wasn’t solely against one particular person however was a risk to the group if allowed to go unchecked,” Illuzzi said.
“The easy precept is that one can not use the police to threaten one other and on this case, in a racially offensive and charged method. Given the problems at hand and Ms. Cooper’s lack of legal background, we supplied her, in step with our place on many misdemeanor circumstances involving a primary arrest, another, restorative justice decision; designed not simply to punish however to teach and promote group therapeutic.”
Kelcey Henderson and Janelle Griffith contributed.