Central Park Birdwatcher Doesn’t Want Woman Who Called Cops On Him Prosecuted

Cameron Frew


Christian Cooper ThumbnailChristian Cooper/ABC News

Manhattan’s District Attorney is pursuing charges against a White woman who filed a false police report against a Black man in Central Park – however, he doesn’t want to be involved.

On Memorial Day weekend in May, Amy Cooper went viral after footage was posted online of her calling 911 to say an ‘African-American man’ was threatening her and her dog, which she repeatedly held up by the collar during clip.

The man in question, Christian Cooper, had simply asked her to put a leash on the dog. On Monday, July 6, she was charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, but Christian has no interest in seeing her prosecuted.

You can view the original incident in the video below: 


In under 48 hours, the video – filmed by Christian but posted online by his sister – amassed more than 40 million views, with Mayor Bill de Blasio describing the footage as ‘racism, plain and simple’. She was fired from her job, she surrendered her dog to the rescue group she adopted it from and a local civic group has called for her to be banned from Central Park permanently.

Christian Cooper told woman to put dog on leadNBC News

Christian said in a statement, as per The New York Times

On the one hand, she’s already paid a steep price. That’s not enough of a deterrent to others? Bringing her more misery just seems like piling on… so if the DA feels the need to pursue charges, he should pursue charges. But he can do that without me.

Christian, an avid birdwatcher, had asked Amy to place the dog on a lead in accordance with the rules in The Bramble, a semi-wild area of the park. When she refused, he pulled out some dog treats, prompting her to react aggressively and phone the police.

Amy Cooper Central ParkChristian Cooper

‘If the habitat is destroyed we won’t be able to go there to see the birds, to enjoy the plantings,’ he told NBC New York. ‘We live in an age of Ahmaud Arbery where Black men are gunned down because of assumptions people make about Black men, Black people, and I’m just not going to participate in that.’

While Christian may be opposed to prosecution – reflecting a wider debate on overhauling America’s criminal justice system – Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said: ‘We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable.’

Christian Cooper shares details of Central Park encounter on FacebookChristian Cooper/Facebook

Josie Duffy Rice, president of nonprofit website The Appeal, wrote in a tweet: ‘Ask yourself what criminal charges can do to Amy Cooper that hasn’t already been done? Has she not faced consequences? She did something absolutely horrible and she lost her job, her dog, her personal business was on the front page of the paper.’

However, Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, a professor of constitutional law at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, also said:

This isn’t just about Christian Cooper. The community has been harmed by the actions of Amy Cooper and, in order to rectify this, then the people of New York need to have their day in court, even if Christian Cooper is a reluctant witness.

Amy has since apologised for the incident, saying she ‘reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions’. She’s scheduled to be arraigned on October 14, where she could face community service and counselling if convicted.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: News, Central Park, Manhattan, New York, Racism


The New York Times and 2 others
  1. The New York Times

    Case Against Amy Cooper Lacks Key Element: Victim’s Cooperation

  2. NBC New York

    Woman in Racial Central Park Confrontation Is Fired From Job, Gives Up Dog

  3. ABC News


Cameron Frew
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