Charge in Central Park birdwatcher incident dropped

  • Charge in Central Park birdwatcher incident dropped

Charge in Central Park birdwatcher incident dropped

Criminal charges were formally dismissed Tuesday against Amy Cooper, the White woman captured in a viral video calling 911 on a Black bird-watcher in Central Park who asked her to put her dog on a leash last Memorial Day.

Christian Cooper (no relation to Amy Cooper) was birdwatching in New York's Central Park last spring when he encountered Amy Cooper, who had her dog off its leash in the Ramble - a forested area of the park.

Reached by phone, Mr Cooper reportedly said he had no reaction to the news that Ms Cooper's case was dismissed. Prosecutors said she also falsely accused the man of trying to assault her.

Cooper, 40, was charged in October with falsely reporting an assault when it was revealed that after her initial call to police to report an alleged threat, she falsely reported that Christian Cooper assaulted her. "When responding officers arrived, Ms. Cooper admitted that the male had not "tried to assault" or come into contact with her".

That's when matters escalated, as Amy quickly called the police and falsely claimed that Christian was threatening her, putting on an incredibly terrified, at times hysterical, voice - despite the fact that Christian was feet away from her.

She added, "I'm not a racist".

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said prosecutors were satisfied with Ms Cooper's participation in the program, which she described as an alternative, restorative justice solution, and were not seeking to pursue the case any further.

Illuzzi said Cooper's program, which included five therapy sessions, stressed appreciating racial identities but not using them to cause harm. "Psychoeducation about racial equality is woven into each therapy session to prompt understanding and reflection".

"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 paper said when Cooper was asked if she wanted to be heard, she told the judge, "No, your honor".

A compliance report will be filed with the court but the parties moved to seal the records of this case, which the judge approved.

Christian Cooper declined to participate in the criminal case.