Charges Dropped Against "Central Park Karen" After Taking Racial Bias Program

Christian Cooper filmed Amy Cooper after she refused to stop her dog running through woodland

A misdemeanour charge was dropped on Tuesday against a white New York City woman originally from Canada who became an internet video sensation last spring when she falsely claimed a Black man threatened her in Manhattan's Central Park, her lawyer said.

On May 25 in the Ramble section of Central Park, a wooded area frequented by birdwatchers, Christian Cooper, who is not related, insisted that she put her dog on a leash - a request Amy Cooper refused. Amy Cooper called 911 and frantically reported a Black man was threatening her, a viral video of the confrontation taken by Christian Cooper showed.

Reached by phone, Christian Cooper said he had no reaction to the news that Amy Cooper's case was dismissed.

Amy Cooper repeated the accusation in a second call to police, adding that the man "tried to assault her". "When responding officers arrived, Ms. Cooper admitted that the male had not "tried to assault" or come into contact with her".

Amy Cooper was arraigned in NY in October on a charge of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

She added, "I'm not a racist".


Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said prosecutors were satisfied with Cooper's participation in the program, which she described as an alternative, restorative justice solution, and were not seeking to pursue the case any further.

"They sent her to Critical Therapy Center ... who provided psychoeducation and therapy services which focused on the ways in which Ms. Cooper could appreciate that racial identities shape our lives, but we cannot use them to harm ourselves or others", Illuzzi-Orbon told Manhattan Criminal Court Justice Anne Swern, according to the Post.

"Psychoeducation about racial equality is woven into each therapy session to prompt understanding and reflection", Illuzi said.

"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", Illuzzi said.

Christian Cooper declined to participate in the criminal case.

The classes, according to The New York Times, were part of a "restorative justice" program offered to Amy as an alternative outcome due to her lack of criminal background.

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