The Black birdwatcher who was accused of ‘threatening a white woman’s life’ after asking her to leash her dog in Central Park says he won’t cooperate with authorities in their efforts to prosecute the woman for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. announced charges against New York City woman, Amy Cooper, earlier this week.
“Our office will provide the public with additional information as the case proceeds,” Vance said. “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.”
After the incident, Amy Cooper quickly became the target of social media outrage in response to video of the encounter posted by the birdwatcher, Christian Cooper—no relation to Amy.
Central Park this morning: This woman's dog is tearing through the plantings in the Ramble.ME: Ma'am, dogs in the Ramble have to be on the leash at all times. The sign is right there.HER: The dog runs are closed. He needs his exercise.ME: All you have to do is take him to the other side of the drive, outside the Ramble, and you can let him run off leash all you want.HER: It's too dangerous.ME: 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.HER: What's that?ME (to the dog): Come here, puppy!HER: He won't come to you.ME: We'll see about that...I pull out the dog treats I carry for just for such intransigence. I didn't even get a chance to toss any treats to the pooch before Karen scrambled to grab the dog.HER: DON'T YOU TOUCH MY DOG!!!!!That's when I started video recording with my iPhone, and when her inner Karen fully emerged and took a dark turn...Posted by Christian Cooper on Monday, May 25, 2020
In the video, which has been viewed nearly 6 million times on Facebook, hysterical Amy Cooper calls the police and repeatedly tells them that an African American man is threatening her life.
Amid the controversy, Cooper lost her home and her job at investment firm Franklin Templeton.
She even temporarily lost custody of her dog when an animal rights group took action against her in response to the perceived “rough handling” of the animal displayed in Christian Cooper’s video.
Now Christian Cooper says Amy Cooper has suffered sufficient punishment and that he has no interest in cooperating with the prosecution’s investigation against her.
“On the one hand, she’s already paid a steep price,” he told The New York Times, “That’s not enough of a deterrent to others? Bringing her more misery just seems like piling it on.”
Cooper explained that he is aware of the greater implications of the event and added, “…if the DA feels the need to pursue charges, he should pursue charges. But he can do that without me.”
really wild how mad people who've been yelling "fuck 12" and "ACAB" for the past month absolutely cannot see where dude is coming from here https://t.co/KvpzYGtinn— Trey Smith (@SlimiHendrix) July 8, 2020
The incident took place in May when Christian Cooper was birdwatching in a section of Central Park called ‘The Ramble,’ where dog owners are required to keep their pets on a leash. He saw Amy Cooper’s dog “tearing through the plantings” and asked her to leash the animal so he could enjoy his hobby, but she refused.
Christian Cooper began to film the encounter, causing Amy Cooper to threaten to call the cops.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life,” she said.
“Please tell them whatever you like,” He responded.
On the phone with police, Cooper pleads with the dispatcher to send officers to the scene, saying, “I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble…Please send the cops immediately!”
The video ends when Amy Cooper eventually leashes her dog, and Christian Cooper thanks her.
After the video went viral, Amy Cooper issued a public apology via CNN in May.
“I’m not a racist,” she said. “I did not mean to harm that man in any way.”
In response to charges against her, Cooper’s Attorney, Robert Barnes, appears to be taking the “cancel culture” angle.
“Based on a misunderstood 60 seconds of video, she lost her job, her home, and her reputation,” he said in a statement to CNN.
“Public shaming, lost employment, denied benefits & now prison time for a mis-perceived, momentary alleged ‘wrong think’? For words said in a sixty second interaction where even the alleged victim calls this reaction way excessive? This criminalized, cancel culture is cancerous & precarious. That is why acquitting Amy Cooper is important.”
Cooper could spend up to one year in prison, if convicted. She will go before the courts in October.
Now can we finally let Christian Cooper get on his life? Just a Black man trying to watch some birds out here…
This is Christian Cooper. pic.twitter.com/gOQyVztX5h— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) May 26, 2020