Charge Dropped Against Amy Cooper in Central Park Case After Her ‘Psychoeducation and Therapy’
The single misdemeanor charge filed against Amy Cooper, the white woman who called 911 on a Black man who asked her to leash her dog in a wooded area of New York City’s Central Park, has been dropped, according to multiple reports.
The New York Post, CNN, and NBC News were in Manhattan Supreme Court for Tuesday’s hearing, during which the sole count against her — for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree — was dismissed.
The reports all indicate prosecutors decided to drop the case after Cooper completed five “psychoeducation and therapy” sessions. Additionally, her lack of a criminal history factored into the prosecution’s decision.
The sessions, according to Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi, helped Cooper “appreciate that racial identities shape our lives” and that “we cannot use them to harm ourselves or others.”
“Ms. Cooper’s therapist reported that it was a moving experience and that Ms. Cooper learned a lot in their sessions together,” Illuzzi added. “Having completed the restorative justice program to our satisfaction, we now move to dismiss.”
Robert Barnes, Amy Cooper’s defense attorney, wrote on Twitter, “After a thorough [and] honest inquiry, the New York DA’s office dismissed all charges today against #AmyCooper,” Barnes wrote. “We thank them for their integrity [and] concur [with] the outcome. Others rushed to the wrong conclusion based on inadequate investigation [and] they may yet face legal consequences.”
In late May, birdwatcher Christian Cooper started recording footage of Amy Cooper following a verbal dispute that ended with her calling 911. (The two are not related despite having the same last name.)
During the incident, in an area of the park known as The Ramble, Amy Cooper can be seen on her phone, aggressively yanking on her dog’s collar. Moments prior, Christian Cooper, who is Black, had asked her to leash the animal.
As she dialed 911, Amy Cooper can be heard in the footage saying, “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, her dog appeared to struggle to get its footing on the ground. “Please send the cops immediately,” Amy Cooper said on the phone, standing a distance away from Christian.
After the footage went viral on social media, Amy Cooper was fired from her job at an asset management firm.
The adoption agency from where she got her dog took the animal back, only to return it to Cooper later.
Prosecutors later learned that Amy Cooper had called 911 a second time that day, to report her life was in danger.