Racial Justice

Case dropped after Amy Cooper, the woman who called 911 on Black birdwatcher in NYC, gets therapy

Cooper’s therapist described it as a “moving experience” and said that Cooper learned “a lot in their sessions together.”

This May 25, 2020 file image, taken from video provided by Christian Cooper, shows Amy Cooper with her dog calling police at Central Park in New York. Christian Cooper via AP, File

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NEW YORK (AP) — Amy Cooper, the white woman arrested last spring for calling 911 during a dispute with a Black man in New York’s Central Park, had her criminal case dismissed Tuesday after completing a counseling program meant to educate her on the harm of her actions.

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said prosecutors were satisfied with Cooper’s participation in the program, which she described as an alternative, restorative justice solution, and were not seeking to pursue the case any further.

Judge Anne Swern agreed to dismiss the charge of filing a false police report, a misdemeanor, and said she would seal Cooper’s case file, in accordance with state law.


Illuzzi said Cooper’s program, which included five therapy sessions, stressed appreciating racial identities but not using them to cause harm. The prosecutor said Cooper’s therapist described it as a “moving experience” and said that she learned “a lot in their sessions together.”

Cooper drew widespread condemnation and was fired from her job at investment firm Franklin Templeton after frantically calling 911 on May 25 to claim she was being threatened by “an African American man,” birdwatcher Christian Cooper, who had confronted her for walking her dog without a leash.

In the video Christian Cooper recorded of Amy Cooper, he sounded calm and appeared to keep a safe distance from her.

Reached by phone, Christian Cooper said he had no reaction to the news that Amy Cooper’s case was dismissed. Illuzzi said in court that he did not wish to participate in the criminal case.

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