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Central Park Birdwatcher Says He Won’t Cooperate With DA After Charges Brought Against ‘Karen’ Who Called The Cops On Him

Christian Cooper/Facebook

On July 6, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office charged Amy Cooper with “filing a false report”—a misdemeanor that could result in up to a year of jail time.

The public has long called on the justice system to charge people who make calls to police as a means of intimidation when they are well aware no crime was committed.

The formal charge was the latest consequence Cooper, a White woman, has faced after an online video captured the infamous moment she called the police after approaching and specifically telling a Black birdwatcher in Central Park she would call police and tell them an “African American man” was threatening her.

Amy Cooper did then call police and in a completely different voice than the one used to threaten the birdwatcher claimed Christian Cooper was “threatening her life.”

But the DA’s investigation has run into a snag. Christian Cooper, the sole victim, has refused to cooperate, according to a statement he made to the New York Times:

“On the one hand, she’s already paid a steep price. That’s not enough of a deterrent to others? Bringing her more misery just seems like piling on.”

“So if the DA feels the need to pursue charges, he should pursue charges. But he can do that without me.”

Amy Cooper has indeed paid a “steep price” since the video went viral. She lost her job, lost her dog, and received death threats following the very public incident.

More broadly, Amy Cooper became a social pariah when many cited her behavior illustrated the nation’s problematic, racist approach to policing Black and brown communities, an issue that has driven countless protests and policy changes across the United States over the last few months.

Many people on Twitter agreed with Christian Cooper’s decision to say enough was enough.  

Public intellectual Josie Duffy Rice even weighed in.

In a lengthy Twitter thread, she offered a more complex commentary about why she opposed the charges. 

Amy Cooper will not be arraigned until October. But the informal consequences will clearly persist right up to and well beyond that time.  

Eric Spring

Written by Eric Spring

Eric Spring lives in New York City. He has poor vision and cooks a good egg. Most of his money is spent on live music and produce. He usually wears plain, solid color sweatshirts without hoods because he assumes loud patterns make people expect something big. Typically, he'll bypass a handshake and go straight for the hug.