By AARON KATERSKY, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Amy Cooper, the woman charged with calling 911 and falsely accusing a Black man of threatening her in New York’s Central Park, appeared in court via video Wednesday to signal she is prepared to plead guilty and resolve her case through community service.
Amy Cooper was caught on video on May 25 in a verbal dispute with birdwatcher Christian Cooper.
Christian Cooper said he saw Amy Cooper walking her dog off-leash, against the area’s rules, and began recording Amy Cooper on his cellphone after he said he asked her to leash her dog. He also said he offered dog treats to try to lure the canine out of a plant bed.
Amy Cooper called 911 and said an “African American man” was threatening her and her dog. In a second call to 911, Amy Cooper alleged Christian Cooper “tried to assault” her.
“At no time did the man later identified as Christian Cooper try to assault her,” assistant district attorney Joan Iluzzi said during the brief hearing. “Using the police in a way that was both racially offensive and designed to intimidate is something that can’t be ignored.”
She was charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.
Illuzi said Amy Cooper is prepared to “take responsibility for her actions” through a program designed with the defense to “educate her and the community on the harm caused by such actions.”
The judge agreed to convert the charging instrument from a complaint to an information, a sign Amy Cooper is prepared to plead guilty when her case returns to court Nov. 17.
“This process can be an opportunity for introspection and education,” Illuzi said.
Christian Cooper said in a statement Wednesday, “My focus has been and continues to be fixing policing and addressing systemic racism. The immediate thing we can do to address systemic racism is vote the White nationalist out of the White House on November 3rd.”
Christian Cooper told ABC’s The View in May that he accepted Amy Cooper’s apology.
He went on, “I think it’s a first step. I think she’s gotta do some reflection on what happened because up until the moment when she made that statement … it was just a conflict between a birder and a dog walker, and then she took it to a very dark place. I think she’s gotta sort of examine why and how that happened.”
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