Amy Cooper, the woman dubbed Central Park Karen after calling the police on an avid bird-watcher in the popular New York City location, has been charged with filing a false police report. The New York Times reports that she could face up to a year in jail for the misdemeanor crime.
This is the latest update to a story that began when Christian Cooper, a Black man, asked Cooper to leash her dog, per the park rules, and she refused. The dog owner then called the cops on Cooper, claiming that an “African-American man” was threatening her life.
The fallout was swift. Christian Cooper’s sister posted the video he had captured of his exchange with Amy Cooper to her social media account, racking up millions of views. It quickly became an example of how situations can easily escalate when White people weaponize their whiteness. The female Cooper lost her job, her home and temporarily lost her dog. Now, she appears to be the first White person, according to the Times, to face jail time for wrongfully calling the police to complain about a Black person.
In a statement obtained by the outlet, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the Manhattan district attorney said, “We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable.”
Cooper’s lawyers told the Times that he feels his client has suffered enough, but activists are likely not to agree. The day Amy Cooper called the police on Christian Cooper in Central Park, a store cashier called the police on George Floyd for allegedly attempting to use a counterfeit bill to pay for food. That encounter resulted in Floyd’s death. Some argue Amy Cooper’s actions could have led to Christian Cooper’s life ending in the same fashion.
Cooper is scheduled to be arraigned on October 14. She could receive community service or counseling in lieu of jail time. The charges could also be conditionally discharged.