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White woman who called cops on black birdwatcher in Central Park now facing prosecution

The Manhattan DA released a statement on Monday.

Updated: July 7, 2020 - 12:10pm

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The white woman who called police on a black man in Central Park and claimed that he was threatening her is now facing a charge following the incident that occurred in May.

"Today our Office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree. Our office will provide the public with additional information as the case proceeds," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr., announced in a statement Monday.

Birdwatcher Christian Cooper filmed a now-viral exchange with Amy Cooper in the park. In the video the woman asks Christian Cooper to stop filming. She tells him that she would contact the police and "tell them there's an African-American man threatening my life." 

Amy Cooper then placed the call and made the claim as Christian Cooper continued filming her.

"There is an African-American man, I am in Central Park, he is recording me and threatening myself and my dog," the woman said on the phone.

Christian Cooper posted the video online along with his explanation of what transpired prior to the video. He said that he informed the woman that her that her dog was supposed to be on a leash in that section of the park. His post provides his account of their encounter:

Amy Cooper issued an apology in a statement the day after the exchange took place.

"I want to apologize to Chris Cooper for my actions when I encountered him in Central Park yesterday. 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. When Chris began offering treats to my dog and confronted me in an area where there was no one else nearby and said, 'You're not going to like what I'm going to do next,' I assumed we were being threatened when all he had intended to do was record our encounter on his phone," she said in the statement. 

"He had every right to request that I leash my dog in an area where it was required," she said. "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. I hope that a few mortifying seconds in a lifetime of forty years will not define me in his eyes and that he will accept my sincere apology."

Christian Cooper during an interview on "The View" said that he accepted the woman's apology, though he noted that, "I think she's gotta do some reflection on what happened because, you know, up until the moment when she made that statement and made that phone call it was just a conflict between a birder and a dog walker and then she took it to a very dark place and I think she's gotta sort of examine why and how that happened."

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