After completing a number of therapy sessions, charges against Amy Cooper for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree have been dropped. Amy Cooper became known as the “Central Park Karen” for falsely accusing a Black birdwatcher, Christian Cooper, of threatening her and her dog in the Ramble last year.
Both Coopers, unrelated, were in the scenic area of the park on May 25, 2020. Amy was walking her dog, unleashed, while Cooper was bird-watching. Christian asked Amy to leash her dog. She refused to leash her dog or leave the area. Christian then said “Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it,” referring to luring her dog with treats he had on him. Amy then told Christian she was going to call the police to tell them “there’s an African American man threatening my life.” She then called 911 and said to the operator, “there is a man, an African American man, he has a bicycle helmet; he is recording me and threatening me and my dog.”
Soon after a video of the incident went viral, sparking outrage throughout the web, Christian Cooper announced that he wouldn’t be cooperating in the case against her, telling the NY Times that he felt she had already suffered enough, as she had by then lost her job and ruined her reputation. “On the one hand, she’s already paid a steep price. That’s not enough of a deterrent to others? Bringing her more misery just seems like piling on,” he told the Times.
During a court hearing on Tuesday, February 16, prosecutors asked the judge to dismiss the charges after Amy Cooper completed five sessions of a “restorative justice program” which focused on “ways in which Ms. Cooper could appreciate that racial identities shape our lives but we cannot use them to harm ourselves or others,” said Assistant DA Joan Illuzzi. The judge agreed to drop the charges.
Amy Cooper’s lawyer, Robert Barnes, tweeted his appreciation for the ruling, while also vaguely indicating that some sort of lawsuit may be coming.
“After a thorough & honest inquiry, the New York DA’s office dismissed all charges today against #AmyCooper. We thank them for their integrity & concur w/ the outcome. Others rushed to the wrong conclusion based on inadequate investigation & they may yet face legal consequences.”
When asked for clarification, a spokesperson for Barnes said that “Amy’s story will be released in the coming days,” according to the NY Daily News.