Amy Cooper, the white woman who was filmed calling the police to falsely accuse a Black man of threatening her life after he asked her to leash her dog in a New York City park, is being charged with falsely reporting an incident, prosecutors announced Monday.
The charge against Cooper, the 41-year-old woman who infamously became known as the "Central Park Karen" after the viral encounter, is in the third degree, a misdemeanor. She will be arraigned on Oct. 14.
"Today our Office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said in a statement. "At this time I would like to encourage anyone who has been the target of false reporting to contact our Office. We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable."
Cooper lost her job at Franklin Templeton soon after her actions were caught in a video filmed by Christian Cooper (no relation), a Black man who was bird-watching in an area of Central Park known as the Ramble on May 25.
Christian Cooper had asked her to put her dog on the leash per the sign in the area known as the Ramble, but she refused.
During the conversation, she told Christian Cooper that she was going to call police and "tell them there's an African American man threatening my life," which she did.
The encounter provoked widespread conversations about white privilege and racial bias, and served as yet another glaring example of white people falsely reporting Black people to police.
Amy Cooper later apologized to Christian Cooper in a statement, saying, "I reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions, when, in fact, I was the one who was acting inappropriately by not having my dog on a leash."
She said that she assumed she and her dog were being threatened, when he began offering treats to her dog and "confronted me in an area where there was no one else nearby."
"I am well aware of the pain that misassumptions and insensitive statements about race cause and would never have imagined that I would be involved in the type of incident that occurred with Chris," her statement said.