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Amy Cooper Charged With Falsely Reporting Assault by a Black Birdwatcher

“Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the police response to Ms. Cooper’s hoax,” Manhattan’s district attorney said of the former Franklin Templeton employee.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has charged Amy Cooper, former head of insurance solutions at Franklin Templeton, with falsely reporting an assault by a Black birdwatcher in Central Park.

“As alleged in the complaint, Amy Cooper engaged in racist criminal conduct when she falsely accused a Black man of trying to assault her in a previously unreported second call with a 911 dispatcher,” district attorney Vance said in a statement Wednesday. In her first call, Cooper told a New York City police dispatcher that a Black male was threatening her.

A video of Cooper calling 911 on birdwatcher Christian Cooper, who’d asked her to leash her dog as Central Park rules require, went viral in May. When officers arrived, she admitted that he had not “tried to assault” or come into contact with her, according to the statement of charges Wednesday from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. 

“Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the police response to Ms. Cooper’s hoax,” Vance said. “Our Office will pursue a resolution of this case which holds Ms. Cooper accountable while healing our community, restoring justice, and deterring others from perpetuating this racist practice.”

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Franklin Templeton quickly terminated her employment at the asset manager, tweeting May 26 that it doesn’t tolerate any racism. The DA’s misdemeanor charge against Cooper, 41, was filed in New York County Criminal Court.

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