Amy Cooper: Charge against Cooper dropped after completing racial bias education program


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“Given the issues at hand and Ms. Cooper’s lack of criminal background, we offered her, consistent with our position on many misdemeanor cases involving a first arrest, an alternative, restorative justice resolution; designed not just to punish but to educate and promote community healing,” Assistant DA Joan Illuzzi said in court, according to a statement.

Cooper had been charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.

The Critical Therapy Center provided classes to Cooper that “focused on the ways in which Ms. Cooper could appreciate that racial identities shape our lives but we cannot use them to harm ourselves or others,” Illuzzi said.

“Having completed 5 sessions, Ms. Cooper’s therapist reported that it was a moving experience and that Ms. Cooper learned a lot in their sessions together. The compliance report is attached, we are filing it with the court,” Illuzzi said. “Having completed the restorative justice program to our satisfaction, we now move to dismiss.”

The judge granted to motion to dismiss, the statement said.

White woman who called police on a black man bird-watching in Central Park has been fired

The charge stemmed from a May 25 confrontation in a wooded area of Central Park between Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper (no relation). Amid a disagreement over her unleashed dog, Amy Cooper called 911 and said in an increasingly frantic tone that a Black man was threatening her, according to video of the incident he filmed.

“I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” she says in video of the incident. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”

A 911 dispatcher called her back and she repeated the accusation, adding that the man “tried to assault her,” according to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.’s office.

“When responding officers arrived, Ms. Cooper admitted that the male had not ‘tried to assault’ or come into contact with her,” a release from the DA’s office said.

Christian Cooper declined to cooperate

The viral video of the incident, the same day Minneapolis Police killed George Floyd, made clear the dangers that Black men face in America and highlighted the particular challenges that Black birdwatchers and naturalists face.
In the aftermath of the video, Amy Cooper’s employer fired her and her dog was temporarily given to a shelter before being returned to her care.

In comments to CNN in May, she said she wanted to “publicly apologize to everyone.”

“I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way,” she said.

Vance indicated in an earlier statement that the DA’s office would try to reach a legal resolution with her.

“Our Office will pursue a resolution of this case which holds Ms. Cooper accountable while healing our community, restoring justice, and deterring others from perpetuating this racist practice.”

Christian Cooper has expressed ambivalence toward her criminal prosecution and said he is not cooperating with the investigation.

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