US

Judge drops charges against ‘Central Park Karen’ Amy Cooper over racist 911 call

Patrick Kelleher February 16, 2021
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Amy Cooper

Amy Cooper made a false call to 911 claiming that a black man was attacking her (Twitter)

“Central Park Karen” Amy Cooper had her charges dropped after she made false claims that Christian Cooper, a Black man, had threatened her life.

Amy Cooper made global headlines when she called emergency services in May 2020, falsely claiming that Christian Cooper had threatened her in Central Park.

Christian Cooper recorded the entire incident and shared the footage online. Amy Cooper quickly went viral and earned her “Central Park Karen” nickname, becoming a symbol for the racism Black people face in everyday life in the process.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office brought charges against Amy Cooper in July 2020 for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree – but those charges were dropped on Tuesday (16 February).

Prosecutors in Manhattan asked a judge to dismiss charges, saying that she had completed five sessions in therapy “designed for introspection and progress”, according to the New York Post.

“They sent her to Critical Therapy Centre… who provided psychoeducation and therapy services which focused on the ways in which Ms Cooper could appreciate that racial identities shape our lives but we cannot use them to harm ourselves or others,” prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon told justice Anne Swern.

“Psychoeducation about racial equality is woven into each therapy session to prompt understand and reflection.”

Amy Cooper appeared virtually at the hearing and declined to speak when asked if she wanted to be heard.

Swern subsequently dismissed and sealed her case.

‘Central Park Karen’ Amy Cooper lied about a Black man threatening her.

Amy Cooper’s attorney Robert Barnes thanked the district attorney’s office for dismissing charges against his client in a post on Twitter.

“Others rushed to the wrong conclusion based on inadequate investigation and they may yet face legal consequences,” he wrote.

Video footage of the incident quickly went viral after Christian Cooper shared it online in May 2020.

In the shocking footage, he can be heard asking her to put her dog on a leash. She responded by telling him she was going to call the police to tell them that “an African-American man is threatening my life”.

Christian Cooper recorded the woman as she called 911 and hysterically described a fictitious attack by the Black man standing peacefully in front of her. The footage was shared millions of times across social media.

The investment banker was fired from her job over her actions.

Christian Cooper later said he had “zero involvement” in the case against Amy Cooper.

“Too much focus has been put on her when it really is about the underlying issues that have plagued this city and this country for centuries – racial issues,” he told New York Daily News in May 2020.

Related topics: Amy Cooper, Christian Cooper

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