Christian Cooper, the Black bird-watcher who recorded his encounter with Amy Cooper, a woman who called the police on him on May 25 after he asked her to leash her dog in New York’s famed Central Park, says he will not participate in the DA’s prosecution of the woman who has been dubbed “Central Park Karen.”
The Manhattan bird-watcher said he feels 41-year-old Amy Cooper has already paid a “steep price” since the video footage of the encounter was posted online and viewed more than 100 million times. Cooper was fired from her job at investment firm Franklin Templeton and temporarily lost her dog to a rescue group after the video showed her holding the cocker spaniel by his collar. Her attorney has also stated that Cooper lost her home. Shortly after the video was posted, Cooper told CNN, “my entire life is being destroyed right now.”
Christian Cooper elaborated on his decision to not participate in her prosecution, saying in a July 7 statement, “That’s not enough of a deterrent to others? Bringing her more misery just seems like piling on.”
On Monday, July 6, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said it had initiated a prosecution against Cooper for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree. Cooper can be seen on video threatening to call 911 and tell them “there’s an African-American man threatening my life,” after Christian Cooper asked her to leash her dog in accordance with park rules.
The bird-watcher can be heard responding, “Tell them whatever you like.”
Once on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, Amy Cooper is heard screaming, “Please send the cops immediately!” as Christian Cooper stands back and records the incident.
Amy Cooper is set to appear in court on October 14 and faces up to one year in jail if she is found guilty. Christian Cooper maintains his stance regarding her prosecution, saying, “If the DA feels the need to pursue charges, he should pursue charges. But he can do that without me.”