Amy Cooper, a white New York City woman who called police on a Black bird watcher who had asked her to leash her dog at Central Park, actually made two 911 calls to report him, prosecutors have alleged, according to the New York Times.
In court on Wednesday morning, senior prosecutor Joan Illuzzi said Cooper called 911 a second time, which was previously unreported.
“The defendant twice reported that an African American man was putting her in danger, first by stating that he was threatening her and her dog, then making a second call indicating that he tried to assault her in the Ramble area of the park,” Illuzzi told the court.
Cooper has ben charged with filing a false report — a misdemeanor. According to the New York Times, she is negotiating a possible plea deal that would keep her out of jail.
Cooper sparked widespread outrage in May after she called police on birdwatcher Christian Cooper, who is not related to her. Christian Cooper captured the encounter on video.
The incident began in the Ramble section of Central Park on May 25. Christian, who was out bird watching, approached Amy after seeing her dog "tearing through the plantings." He asked her to put the canine on a leash, as the park rules require. Amy refused and began to dial 911, telling Christian, "I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life."
While she spoke to the New York City Police Department, she got more agitated and claimed that her life was in danger. "Please send the cops immediately," she told the dispatcher, while standing a distance away from Christian. She eventually ended up screaming as if her life was in danger.
Christian says he never threatened Amy's life. He can be heard on video speaking calmly and encouraging Amy to call the police.
After the video went viral, Amy apologized for her actions.
"I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man, his family," she said to WCMH. "It was unacceptable, and I humbly and fully apologize to everyone who’s seen that video, everyone that’s been offended … everyone who thinks of me in a lower light and I understand why they do."
Despite her apology, Amy was quickly fired from her job at the investment management company Franklin Templeton. She voluntarily surrendered her dog days after the incident.
The case has been adjourned until November 17. Amy's attorney, Robert Barnes, did not immediately return a message for comment.
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