The Central Park “Karen” hasn’t stopped yet: Her second 911 call
On Memorial Day 2020, a white woman named Amy Cooper, aka the Central Park “Karen”, called the police on Black birdwatcher Christian Cooper (no relation) in Central Park. Amy Cooper claimed that the man was threatening her & her dog when all he did was ask for her to follow the park rules and put her dog on a leash.
The Central Park video
In a video that Christian took, Amy can be heard saying, “I’m taking a picture and calling the cops.” She continued, “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”
She called the police, saying, “I’m in the Ramble, there is a man, African American, he has a bicycle helmet, he is recording me and threatening me and my dog.” She continued, now in a frantic & weepy tone, “I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble, please send the cops immediately.”
Ms. Cooper has since apologized, saying, “I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man, his family [sic],” She continued, “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.”
Amy Cooper was charged by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail. On Wednesday, October 14th, Ms. Cooper appeared remotely in Manhattan Criminal Court to answer the charge.
Amy Cooper made a second call
It has now been revealed in court, through a criminal complaint, that Amy Cooper made a second, previously unreported call to 911. Ms. Cooper falsely claimed Christian Cooper tried to assault her in the second call. The second call was not shown in the recorded video.
Senior prosecutor Joan Illuzzi, whose last high-profile case sent Harvey Weinstein to prison for rape, said, “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.”
According to The New York Times, Illuzzi stated the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office was negotiating a possible plea deal with Amy Cooper that would allow her to avoid jail. The resolution would require Ms. Cooper to take responsibility for her actions in court and attend a program to educate her on how harmful they were.
Illuzzi stated that using the police as a threat was both “racially offensive” & “designed to intimidate.” The senior prosecutor said that it was something that can’t be ignored. She added, “We hope this process will enlighten, heal, and prevent similar harm to our community in the future.”
The criminal complaint revealed that when the police arrived, Amy Cooper told an officer her reports were untrue and Christian Cooper had not touched or assaulted her. Although the complaint states that there were two calls, Amy has only been charged with one count.
In order to give Amy Cooper’s lawyer, Robert Barnes, and the prosecutors time to work out the details of an agreement, Judge Nicholas Moyne adjourned the case until November 17.
The Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., said in a statement on Wednesday, “We will hold people who make false and racist 911 calls accountable.” He continued saying, “Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the police response to Ms. Cooper’s hoax.”
Christian Cooper’s response
Harvard graduate Christian Cooper decided not to cooperate with the prosecution’s investigation. He stated, “On the one hand, she’s already paid a steep price.” He continued, “That’s not enough of a deterrent to others? Bringing her more misery just seems like pilling [sic] on.”
Mr. Cooper understood there was a greater principle at stake and that this should be defended. He said, “So if the DA feels the need to pursue charges, he should pursue charges. But he can do that without me.”
Christian Cooper declined to answer specific questions about the second 911 call or the potential plea deal in an interview on Wednesday. He reminded people the racist encounter at the Ramble was “not about Amy Cooper,” but about a larger societal problem.
Mr. Cooper stated, “My response is very simple: We have to make sure we don’t get distracted.” He continued, “We have a very important goal, and we have to stay focused on it, which is reforming policing, getting systemic change to the structural racism in our society.”
The Central Park incident led New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to approve legislation entitling people to “a private right of action” if they believe they’ve had the police called on them because of their race, gender, nationality, or any other protected class, when there’s no reason to believe a crime has been committed.