Amy Cooper has officially been charged with a misdemeanor for calling the police on Christian Cooper back in May. Amy Cooper went viral in a video of her encounter with Christian Cooper in New York City's Central Park, which was rife with racist implications. Now, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance has announced that Amy Cooper is being charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.
The D.A. issued a press release on the charges against Amy Cooper, since the case has become a national lightning rod. "Our office will provide the public with additional information as the case proceeds," it read. "At this time I would like to encourage anyone who has been the target of false reporting to contact our Office. We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable."
In the video, Amy Cooper was allowing her dog to run free without a leash against Central Park rules, while Christian Cooper was trying to do some bird-watching. However, when he asked her to keep control of her dog, Amy Cooper, went wild, shouting and calling 9-1-1 at once. She emphasized the words "African American man" when describing Christian, whom she claimed was "recording me and threatening myself and my dog."
The video provided enough context for most viewers to conclude that Amy was being manipulative, and trying to weaponize the threat of police violence against Christian. It opened up a whole new dimension of the conversation about modern racism in the U.S.
As the video made the rounds online, Cooper was fired from her job and temporarily lost custody of her dog. Her rough handling of the pet caused lots of concern among animal rights advocates, but she ultimately got her dog back. Since then, she has repeatedly apologized through various public forums.
"I'm not a racist," she told CNN. "I did not mean to harm that man in any way. [My] entire life is being destroyed right now." She also admitted to WNBC that her behavior was "unacceptable."
Amy Cooper is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 14, according to the D.A.'s office. Outside of this particular incident, many people see the case as an advancement in the discussion of systemic and institutional racism in the U.S. in general. While the NYPD initially said that it would not pursue charges against Amy Cooper, public outcry likely had an impact on this decision.