A senior prosecutor said on Wednesday that Amy Cooper, the white woman who called 911 on a Black birdwatcher in New York’s Central Park earlier this year, made a second, previously undisclosed call to the police claiming the man was assaulting her.
Cooper appeared in court remotely at Manhattan Criminal Court in connection with a misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report, which was filed against her in July.
If convicted, Cooper could face up to a year in jail.
“The defendant twice reported that an African-American man was putting her in danger, first by stating that he was threatening her and her dog, then making a second call indicating that he tried to assault her in the Ramble area of the park,” prosecutor Joan Illuzzi said during the court appearance, according to The New York Times.
Over Memorial Day weekend, birdwatcher Christian Cooper filmed Ms. Cooper as she called 911. Before dialing, she announced she would tell them that “there’s an African-American man threatening my life,” after he requested that she leash her dog in accordance with park rules.
During the filmed encounter, which has been viewed more than 45 million times, Ms. Cooper continued to falsely accuse Mr. Cooper of threatening her as she was on the phone with the 911 operator, all while the New York-based writer, editor, and Harvard graduate stood by at a distance.
Prosecutors have revealed that Ms. Cooper made a second call to 911 that was not filmed, in which she claimed that Mr. Cooper had attempted to assault her. When officers arrived, she told them that her complaint was false and that she had not been harmed by Mr. Cooper.
Ms. Cooper apologized a day later and was fired from her job at the Franklin Templeton investment firm. She also temporarily lost her dog following concerns surrounding her handling of the animal. In the midst of widespread public shaming, she told CNN, “My life is being destroyed right now.”
Despite the two calls, Ms. Cooper has been charged on a single criminal count.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is negotiating a plea deal that would allow Ms. Cooper not to go to jail. Instead, she would attend a program intended to help her understand how her actions were harmful.
“We hope this process will enlighten, heal and prevent similar harm to our community in the future,” Illuzzi said.
The case has been adjourned until Nov. 17 to give the prosecution and Ms. Cooper’s defense time to work out an agreement.
Mr. Cooper, who has not supported the prosecution of Ms. Cooper, told The New York Times on Oct. 14 that he doesn’t want the Central Park encounter to district from larger issues.
“We have to make sure we don’t get distracted,” he said. “We have a very important goal — and we have to stay focused on it — which is reforming policing, getting systemic change to the structural racism in our society.”