Amy Cooper—the 41-year-old white woman who infamously called the cops on a Black man who was peacefully birdwatching in New York City’s Central Park—is off the hook now that her criminal case has been thrown out.
Christan Cooper was enjoying his hobby on May 25, 2020 when he saw Amy and asked her to leash her dog, which is the law in Central Park. Amy wasn’t too pleased with a Black man asking her to be a law-abiding citizen, so she decided to use her privilege against him in retaliation. She called the cops and lied to them. She said she was being threatened by “an African American man.” Amy wanted Christian to be punished for simply asking her to comply with the law and to be a responsible dog owner. Violent, deadly encounters between police and Black people have been more public in recent years, which means Amy knew what she was doing. Christian could’ve easily been a trending hashtag in 2020, alongside George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.
Due to backlash, Amy was fired from her job as a portfolio manager at Franklin Templeton, an investment firm in California. She was also arrested and charged with one count of filing a false report against Christian. Many of us thought Amy was going to face serious consequences for putting Christian’s life in danger. That hope dissipated when it was announced on Tuesday, February 16 that the charge against Amy had been dropped. Why? Well, it’s because she completed a diversionary counseling program. Prosecutors said this program served the purpose of educating her on her actions, as if Amy was a 4-year-old girl who was ignorant about what she was doing.
Amy knew exactly what she was doing, which is why a few weeks of counseling isn’t enough. Counseling won’t remove Amy’s racist ideologies. It isn’t going to stop Amy from calling the cops the next time a Black man or woman calls her out for being a law breaker. Thanks to her Whiteness, she knows the law is on her side. Even worse, she is the clearly the type of person who has no problem abusing her privilege. Once again, the justice system has failed the victim.
Officials had the power to sentence Amy and make her serve as an example to all the “Karens” who constantly put the lives of Black and Brown people in danger. She is no different than the White women who scream rape when they’re caught with Black men they secretly desire. She’s no different from Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman who lied on Emmett Till.
Amy Cooper threatened a man’s life that day in May. Some would say calling the cops to make a false claim of violence against a Black person amounts to attempted murder. She deserves a punishment that fits her crime.