The case against Amy Cooper, the white woman who called the cops on Black birdwatcher Christian Cooper, has been dropped. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday (Feb. 16) that it dropped the misdemeanor criminal charge against Amy because she completed racial bias classes.
“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,” Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi said in a statement.
According to Illuzzi, the classes Amy took at the Critical Therapy Center “focused on the ways in which [she] could appreciate that racial identities shape our lives but we cannot use them to harm ourselves or others.”
“Having completed five sessions, Ms. Cooper’s therapist reported that it was a moving experience and that Ms. Cooper learned a lot in their sessions together,” she added.
Amy was previously charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree after claiming Christian assaulted her. A statement notes that Illuzzi moved to dismiss the charge, and the judge agreed.
Back in May, footage of Amy and Christian’s Central Park confrontation went viral. After Christian asked Amy to leash her dog, the woman called the police and frantically claimed a Black man was threatening her.
“I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” she said at the time. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”
Amy also spoke to police a second time and claimed Christian “tried to assault her.” When cops arrived, however, she admitted she had lied about the accusations.
According to CNN, Christian declined to participate in the criminal case against Amy. In her statement to dismiss the charges, Illuzzi acknowledged that he could have come into harm’s way due to Amy’s actions.
“The police would have been in a position where they thought that Mr. Cooper had tried to assault the defendant. Certainly, he would have been held and held forcibly if he resisted,” she said.
“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,” she continued. “The simple principle is that one cannot use the police to threaten another and, in this case, in a racially offensive and charged manner.”