Prosecutors said Wednesday that Amy Cooper, the white woman who called the police on a black bird watcher in Central Park, made a second, previously unreported call, with the number 911 in which she falsely claimed the man “attempted to assault her.”
The defendant said twice that an African American man was endangering her, first by saying that he was threatening her and her dog, then he made a second call indicating that he had attempted to assault her in the Rumble area of the park. Chief Prosecutor said Joan Elozi.
The attorney general said Mrs. Cooper, who appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court remotely to answer a misdemeanor charge that she had filed a false report, was negotiating a possible deal with prosecutors that would allow her to avoid jail.
Ms. Illuzzi said Ms. Cooper used the police in a manner that was “racially abusive and designed to intimidate” and that her actions “could not be ignored.”
However, Elotsy told the court that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office was looking into a solution to the case requiring Mrs. Cooper to take public responsibility for her actions in court and attend a program to educate her about the extent of her harm.
“We hope that this process will illuminate, heal and prevent similar harm to our community in the future,” said Ms. Illouzi.
The case was postponed until November 17 to give Ms. Cooper’s lawyer, Robert Barnes, and prosecutors time to work out the details of an agreement.
The news of the second call was the latest development in the Memorial Day weekend encounter that reverberated across the country and reignited discussions about the potential danger of false accusations against blacks from police.
Mrs. Cooper photographed Call 911 from a secluded area in Central Park After a black man asked her to tie her dog, according to the required rules. During the first call, she said several times that a “African American man” was threatening her, confirming his sweat towards the operator as she raised her voice frantically.
The encounter videoChristian Cooper, shot on his phone, had more than 44 million views. Her timing, the day before protests erupted across the country over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, only deepened her role in stoking outrage from what many saw as an example of everyday racism. (Mrs. Cooper has nothing to do with Mr. Cooper).
But in a second call to 911, which did not appear in the video of the confrontation, Ms. Cooper told a dispatcher that Mr. Cooper was endangering her and claimed that he attempted to assault her, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Attorney General’s office.
But when the police arrived, Ms. Cooper told an officer that her reports were untrue and that Mr. Cooper had not touched or assaulted her, according to the complaint.
In July, the Manhattan attorney general Mrs. Cooper was accused of submitting a false reportIt is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to a year. The criminal charge, which remained unchanged despite evidence of Ms. Cooper’s second call to 911, was among the first charges faced by a white person in the United States for falsely filing a complaint with the police about a black person.
“We will hold accountable people who make 911 false and racist calls,” Manhattan Attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr. said in a statement Wednesday. “Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the police response to Mrs. Cooper’s trick.”
Her lawyer, Mr. Barnes, said last July that she would not be guilty and criticized what he called an “epidemic of abolition culture”.
“How many lives will we destroy because of misunderstood 60-second videos on social media?” Asked. Barnes did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Mr. Vance’s decision to indict Ms. Cooper sparked mixed reactions from black community leaders and advocates of criminal justice reform. Nor has he had the support of Mr. Cooper, who has long been a prominent bird in the city and is a member of the New York City Audubon Society board.
When the episode gained widespread attention among lawmakers and activists across the country, Mrs. Cooper, who was the head of managing Franklin Templeton’s insurance portfolio, lost her job and felt publicly shamed. She also temporarily delivered her dog to her rescue group.
At the time, Cooper, a Harvard graduate with a career in communications, said the consequences and the public backlash she faced were indeed sufficient. he is It did not cooperate with the prosecution’s investigation “Bringing more misery to her appears to be accumulating,” she said in a statement in July.
In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Cooper refused to answer specific questions about the second 911 call or about Ms. Cooper’s potential endorsement deal. For him, the confrontation in Central Park is “not about Amy Cooper,” but about a bigger societal problem, he said.
“My response is very simple: we have to make sure we are not distracted,” said Mr. Cooper. “We have a very important goal – and we have to remain focused on it – which is police reform, and systemic change in structural racism in our society.”
After weeks of confrontation, New York state legislators approved the legislation Giving people “the right to act” if they believe that someone has called the police because of race, gender, nationality, or any other protected class. The move was a direct response to the Central Park attack and other false police reports about blacks.
The clash begins between Mr. Cooper and Mrs. Cooper on his bike to search for birds in a semi-wild section of the park known as Rumble, where dogs have to be restrained. He meets Mrs. Cooper as she walks with a dog unleashed and He said in a Facebook post She refused to put a leash on the dog when asked.
He wrote that he offered the dog rewards in an effort to persuade Mrs. Cooper to follow the district’s rules. Then, he captured a video of her calling 911 and telling the operator, “I’m in Rumble, there’s an African-American guy. He’s got a bike helmet and he’s registering me and threatening me and my dog.”
One day after the accident, Mrs. Cooper He issued a public apology.
“My reaction was emotional and making the wrong assumptions about his intentions when I was, in fact, the one who acted inappropriately by not tying my dog on a leash,” Ms Cooper said in the statement. “I am well aware of the pain caused by false assumptions and insensitive statements on the issue of race.”
Sarah Maslin Nair and Jan Ransom contributed to the report.