Charge against Amy Cooper dropped after completing racial bias education program

Brenda Watkins
February 17, 2021

Christian Cooper recorded the encounter with Amy Cooper.

This May 25, 2020 image, taken from video provided by Christian Cooper, shows Amy Cooper with her dog calling police at Central Park in NY.

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.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has agreed to dismiss Cooper's charge of falsely reporting an incident because she completed a program meant to address racial bias.

A therapist reported that "it was a moving experience and that Ms Cooper learned a lot in their sessions together", Illuzzi said, adding that prosecutors were now moving to dismiss the charges.

This file image made from May 25, 2020, video provided by Christian Cooper, shows Amy Cooper with her dog talking to Christian Cooper in Central Park in NY.

Later Tuesday, Christian Cooper posted a statement on Facebook, again declining to discuss the case, but this time mentioning Amy Cooper in arguing for Washington, D.C., statehood.

Mr Cooper has not publicly responded to news of the charge being dropped.

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Illuzzi said Cooper's program, which included five therapy sessions, stressed appreciating racial identities but not using them to cause harm.

The incident happened the same day that unarmed black man George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis, triggering weeks of national and global anti-racism protests.

Christian Cooper declined comment on the case when reached by NBC News on Tuesday.

Christian Cooper hopes America can change. "This is how the system was created to function - to protect the privileged from accountability".

The latest iteration of Karen popped up in New York City's Central Park as a white woman called the police on a black man after being asked to put a leash on her dog.

As the man continued recording, she said that she would be calling the police and "tell them there's an African-American man threatening my life".

"Please call the cops", said Christian Cooper.

Amid the backlash, Amy Cooper released an apology through a public relations service, saying she "reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions". New York Criminal Court Justice Anne Swern approved the dismissal of the charges.

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