Saturday, 24 Oct 2020

Central Park ‘Karen’ Amy Cooper appears in court on charge of filing false report

Amy Cooper — the Central Park “Karen” who sparked international outrage when she called the cops on a black birdwatcher who asked her to leash her dog — is hammering out a deal with prosecutors to avoid prison time, it was revealed in court Wednesday.

Cooper, 41, her expression as grim as the black turtleneck she wore, was arraigned virtually on one count of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree — a charge that carries up to one year in jail.

“Using the police in a way that is both racially offensive and designed to intimidate is something that can’t be ignored therefore we charged her,” said Assistant DA Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, who prosecuted Harvey Weinstein.  “This process can be an opportunity for introspection and education.”

Illuzzi-Orbon said that over the next few weeks she’d be exploring with the defense a rehabilitative program that would educate Cooper and the public.

“We hope this process will both enlighten, heal and prevent similar harm to our community in the future,” she said.

Judge Nicholas Moyne adjourned the case to Nov. 17 for possible disposition.

Cooper was arrested in July after a video of the Memorial Day altercation went viral on social media setting off a firestorm.

In the footage recorded by birdwatcher Christian Cooper, who is of no relation to her, she marches toward him and demands he stop filming her.

“Please don’t come close to me,” he is heard responding several times.

Amy Cooper says she’s going to call the cops and  “tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”

“Please tell them whatever you want,” he responds.

Amy Cooper is then seen pulling down her mask and saying into her phone: “I’m in the Ramble and an African American man with a bicycle helmet, he is recording me and threatening my dog.”

After a brief pause, the video shows her repeating the bogus allegation, “There is An African American man. I am in Central Park. He is recording me and threatening myself and my dog.”

She suddenly becomes distraught and cries: “I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble, please send the cops immediately.”

Throughout the clip, Amy Cooper is seen holding a leash and violently grabbing her struggling dog by a neck harness.

Christian Cooper, whose sister posted the video to Twitter, said she’d suffered enough and wouldn’t cooperate with the prosecutions’ investigation.  “Bringing her more misery just seems like piling,” the avid bird watcher told the New York Times.

Amy Cooper, who later apologized for her conduct, was fired from her job at the investment firm Franklin Templeton.

The incident led to Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing into a law a state Senate bill that imposes a civil penalty for calling the cops on a black person, or any other member of a “protected class,” when there’s no reason to believe a crime has been committed.

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