Charges were dropped Tuesday against a New York City woman who called police after a Black man in Central Park complained about her unleashed dog, her lawyer announced.
The lawyer for Amy Cooper, Robert Barnes, posted a thank-you on social media to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for a “thorough and honest inquiry.”
In a statement, Assistant DA Joan Illuzzi said Cooper, who is white, had completed education and therapy classes on racial equity, CNN reported.
“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,” Illuzzi told the court, CNN reported.
“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,” Illuzzi’s statement said, CNN reported.
The judge granted the DA’s move to dismiss the charge of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree against Cooper.
The May 25 incident involved Cooper and Christian Cooper — no relation to her — getting into an argument over the woman’s unleashed dog. Amy Cooper called 911 and frantically reported a Black man was threatening her, a viral video of the confrontation taken by Christian Cooper showed.
“I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” Amy Cooper declares, the video showed. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”
After a 911 dispatcher called her back, she not only repeated her accusation but added the Black man “tried to assault her,” prosecutors charged. “When responding officers arrived, Ms. Cooper admitted that the male had not ‘tried to assault’ or come into contact with her.”
Christian Cooper declined to participate in the criminal case.
“Mr. Cooper did not wish to participate in the criminal justice process but we determined that the defendant’s offense wasn’t solely against one individual but was a threat to the community if allowed to go unchecked,” Illuzzi said in the statement. “The simple principle is that one cannot use the police to threaten another and in this case, in a racially offensive and charged manner.”
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