It was recently announced that Amy Cooper would face charges for filing a false police report on a Black man in Central Park. But the man she falsely called the police on, Christian Cooper, wants nothing to do with it.
Christian Cooper told the NY Times that he felt Amy Cooper has suffered enough, having lost her job and 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 continued to state that if DA Cyrus Vance wants to pursue charges, he can do so without Christian’s help.
People have been voicing mixed opinions on Christian’s decision to avoid cooperation with the DA. Some are criticizing him, stating that the incident needs to be legally addressed as a hate crime with his help, so that an example can be made of Amy Cooper and future false police reports against people of color can be reduced and discouraged.
Charges Against Amy Cooper Dropped
Others are praising his forgiveness, while also opining that a harsher criminal sentence won’t necessarily teach Amy Cooper any lessons.
The incident between the two Cooper’s took place on Memorial Day, when both were at the Ramble in Central Park. Amy was walking her dog unleashed, Christian was birdwatching. Christian asked Amy to leash her dog; Amy said no, and Christian attempted to lure the dog with treats so that Amy would restrain him. At this point, the rant began and would soon be followed by a frantic phone call to the police, at which point Amy falsely told them that an African American man was threatening her and her dog.
If charged, Amy Cooper could face a sentencing as harsh as one year in jail, but the NY Times believes “she is likely to receive a conditional discharge or be sentenced to community service or counseling.” The publication also states that “Mr. Cooper’s decision not to cooperate may present some challenges for prosecutors.”
It’s an awful mean world at times, and some compassion here by Mr. Cooper, who was the victim in this, gives me some hope that we can always choose, do our part, to make it less mean.
I respect Mr Cooper’s position on this. I don’t know him but my sense is that he is concerned that piling on charges in this one incident offers something of an “out” to law enforcement, making Ms Cooper an easy scapegoat for all the incidents in which Black men are profiled and endangered by police and others. All too easy to then say: “NYC law enforcement isn’t racist. Look how we went after Amy Cooper.”
Y’know, this guy appointed himself as a vigilante fighting the owners of unleashed dogs. It was his habit and it was risky behavior. I lived for 36 years near Central Park and came across unleashed dogs all the time; haven’t you? It’s annoying but who died and left me boss? Unless the dog is jumping on you, the sensible thing is to say nothing On that morning, Mr. Cooper, the self-appointed dog cop, a “Kevin” who balled out someone he felt she was breaking rules, encountered a high-strung white female and got into an altercation with her, telling at her at one point that if she kept on, he’d do something “she wouldn’t like,” a menacing thing to say. This was a big ol’ urban spitstorm, and neither party was in the right. If you want to argue that Ms. Coooper’s response was worse, I wouldn’t disagree. Her words to 911 were racially charged and they were ugly. But Mr. Cooper wasn’t blameless and he seems to have sorted things through in an equitable way and I say good on him.