‘Central Park Karen’ made a second ‘racist, criminal’ 911 call against gay birdwatcher, court hears

Amy Cooper

Amy Cooper, the white woman who called the police on a Black queer bird-watcher in Central Park, made a second false assault claim to New York City police, prosecutors said Wednesday (14 October).

Cooper made the previously unreported call during the widely-publicised dust-up between her and Christian Cooper in the Ramble area, a secluded patch of the park frequented by ornithologists.

Charged with a misdemeanour in July for filing a false police report, Amy appeared remotely in the Manhattan Criminal Court after she dialled the police in response to Christian simply asking her to put her dog on a leash.

“The defendant twice reported that an African-American man was putting her in danger, first by stating that he was threatening her and her dog, then making a second call indicating that he tried to assault her in the Ramble area of the park,” Joan Illuzzi, a senior prosecutor, said, the BBC reported.

Amy Cooper called the police on a Black man twice, falsely accusing him both times, court hears.

Indeed, prosecutors said that after Amy made the false report captured in a viral video by Christian, she went on to ring the authorities again.

This time alleging to the dispatcher that Christian assaulted her, a criminal complaint said.

In both calls, Illuzzi said, Amy intended to use the police in a way “both racially offensive and designed to intimidate” that “cannot be ignored”.

Jail-time isn’t quite what prosecutors are aiming for, however. Illuzzi said she is cooperating with the district attorney’s office for an outcome to the case that would see Amy acknowledge her responsibility and attend a program to educate her on how harmful her actions have been.

“We hope this process will enlighten, heal and prevent similar harm to our community in the future,” she said.

Judge Nicholas Moyne adjourned the case until 17 November.

“We will hold people who make false and racist 911 calls accountable,” the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr, said in a statement Wednesday.

“Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the police response to Ms Cooper’s hoax.”

It is the latest development in a months-long Memorial Day scuffle that became a tinderbox moment in the Black Lives Matter movement that shuddered across the US.

On the same day as the exchange, George Floyd was killed in a chokehold by a white officer.

The video became a bracing tutorial in what a more slippery, silent kind of bigotry looks like – Amy saying the word “African-American man” with a tone of terror her own making, lying about the actions of a Black man.