Things That Matter

Charges Against Amy Cooper, The Woman Who Called The Cops On A Black Man Birdwatching In Central Park, Dropped

Update March 1, 2021

Amy Cooper, the white woman filmed threatening to call the police on a Black man in Central Park is off the hook. Prosecutors asked the judge to drop the case after taking a therapeutic program.

The case against Amy Cooper has been dropped.

Cooper became social media famous in May 2020 after she accused Christian Cooper of threatening her during an encounter in Central Park. Cooper was facing a misdemeanor charge of false reporting because of the encounter.

A prosecutor asked for Cooper’s case to be dismissed because she learned things in her therapeutic program about her racial bias. According to prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, Cooper’s therapist claimed that the sessions she participated in where a moving experience where she learned a lot.

“I am far more outraged by the U.S. Congress, which continues to deny the mostly Black and brown people of the District of Columbia statehood, and the representation every American deserves, than by anything Amy Cooper did,” Christian Cooper told The New York Times about the case being dropped. “That gross racial injustice could be fixed by Congress now, today, and that is what people should be focused on, not last year’s events in Central Park.”

Updated: October 14, 2020.

Amy Cooper, the white woman who called police on a Black man who had been birdwatching in Central Park this past May, is now being charged for making a second 911 call about the encounter.

In May, the Manhattan district attorney announced that Cooper, the white woman who called the police on a Black man who was birdwatching in Central Park, would face prosecution.

On May 25 of this year, Cooper was involved in an incident now referred to as “the Central Park birdwatching incident. At the time, Cooper had been walking with her dog through Central Park when she was confronted by a Black man named Christian Cooper who asked her to put her dog on a leash. Cooper and her dog were in an area of the park where her dog was supposed to be on a leash in a wooded area of Central Park called the Ramble. Their confrontation escalated when Amy Cooper refused Christian Cooper’s request. Cooper became upset and claimed that she was going to call the police, Christian Cooper turned on his phone and began to record.

According to the criminal complaint and a statement made in court, Amy Cooper actually made a second call to police that was previously unreported. The complaint claims that Cooper repeated the accusation, and added that Christian Cooper “tried to assault her.”

“When responding officers arrived, Ms. Cooper admitted that the male had not ‘tried to assault’ or come into contact with her,” a statement from the District Attorney’s office asserted.

In a statement, released by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. Amy Cooper’s conduct is being described as racist and her actions as part of “hoax.”

“Our Office is committed to safety, justice, and anti-racism, and we will hold people who make false and racist 911 calls accountable,” Vance stated. “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. Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the police response to Ms. Cooper’s hoax. “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.”

In the video, Christian Cooper remains calm and relatively quiet while Amy Cooper frantically tells police he had threatened her and her dog.

The video begins with Amy Cooper pulling her dog by the collar and asking Christian Cooper to “Please don’t come close to me.” At one point she moves closer to Christian Cooper saying “Sir, I’m asking you to stop recording me,” In response, Cooper asks the woman to keep her distance. (It’s important to note that it’s unsure as to whether he was doing this for safety measures because of Coronavirus or something else.)

Amy Cooper then tells Christian Cooper in the video that she plans on calling the police saying “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life. Soon she gets on the phone saying “He is recording me and threatening me and my dog.” During the call, Amy Cooper appears to struggle to restrain his dog while she puts him on a leash. At one point, the dog even appears to be choking. “I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble,” Amy says in the phone, growing increasingly distraught. “Please send the cops immediately!”

The video ends with Christian Cooper telling the woman “Thank You.” Soon after taking the recording, Christian Cooper posted it on Facebook.

In an interview with CNN, Amy Cooper apologized. “I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way.”

The New York Police Department also told CNN that when officers finally responded to the scene, neither Christian Cooper nor Amy Cooper was present. “I videotaped it because I thought it was important to document things,” Christian Cooper told CNN. “Unfortunately we live in an era with things like Ahmaud Arbery, where black men are seen as targets. This woman thought she could exploit that to her advantage, and I wasn’t having it.”

According to CNN, Christian Cooper stressed the importance of keeping dogs on leash saying.

Central Park attracts over 230 bird species. Christian Cooper explained “That’s important to us birders because we know that dogs won’t be off-leash at all and we can go there to see the ground-dwelling birds…People spend a lot of money and time planting in those areas as well. Nothing grows in a dog run for a reason.”

Speaking to CNN, Amy Cooper said that her “entire life is being destroyed right now” explaining further that she was “was just scared.” Amy Cooper has since been placed on administrative leave by her employer and her dog has been surrendered to the shelter he was adopted from years ago until the dispute is resolved.

In a Facebook post related to the incident,  Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue Inc. confirmed that the dog had been voluntarily surrendered.

https://www.facebook.com/AbandonedAngels/posts/10157503306378723

“Thank you to the concerned public for reaching out to us about a video involving a dog that was adopted from our rescue a few years ago,” they assured. “The owner has voluntarily surrendered the dog in question to our rescue while this matter is being addressed. Our mission remains the health and safety of our rescued dogs. The dog is now in our rescue’s care and he is safe and in good health. We will not be responding to any further inquiries about the situation, either publicly or privately. Thank you for your understanding.”

Recently, Christian Cooper spoke out in defense of the woman who used police to threaten him.

Speaking to NPR in an interview, Cooper urged people reaching out to Amy Cooper to remain civil. “Now, should she be defined by that, you know, couple-of-seconds moment? I can’t answer that. I think that’s really up to her and what she does going forward,” Christian Cooper said in the interview. “I am told there has been death threats and that is wholly inappropriate and abhorrent and should stop immediately… I find it strange that people who were upset that … that she tried to bring death by cop down on my head, would then turn around and try to put death threats on her head. Where is the logic in that? Where does that make any kind of sense?”

Now Cooper is facing a charge of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.

According to District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Manhattan police are committing themselves to holding perpetrators of false reporting responsible. “At this time I would like to encourage anyone who has been the target of false reporting to contact our office. We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable,” the said in a statement.

As of Monday, Cooper has been issued a desk appearance ticket and is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 14. According to The New York Times, if she is convicted she “could face a conditional discharge or be sentenced to community service or counseling rather than jail time.”

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People Are Talking About The Secretly Great Aspects Of Quarantine Life And Yeah, It’s Not All Bad

Things That Matter

People Are Talking About The Secretly Great Aspects Of Quarantine Life And Yeah, It’s Not All Bad

NurPhoto / Getty

No doubt the current quarantine has been desperately tragic at times. Still, many are choosing to find the bright and positive aspects of life in seclusion. From picking up new hobbies to finding time to save money and work on home projects, Reddit users are finding the bright side of these current times.

Check them out below!

“Save money on gas.”- jmo_joker

“Not to mention wasting time just sitting in a traffic jam to get to a desk that I also happen to have in the office at home…”-coffecup1978

“I’ve been WFH since last march and I must have saved about £2k in fuel.”-throwRAffff

“I got to spend a lot more time with aging pets. I had to put down a cat this fall but for seven months he got to lay on my keyboard and interrupt zoom calls all day. I also have a 12 year old lab and spending this year with her all day every day has been awesome.”-Santos_L_Halper_II

“A lot of restaraunts have really upped their online ordering and drive through game. Like a well oiled machine.”- Wilhelm_Amenbreak

“And some shockingly haven’t. I got take out from one of my favorite restaurants the other day, and it took so long to order on the phone, that next time I’m just going to go down there and place an order in person. I had to speak to three different people to accomplish it – being put on hold each time – and give my credit card over the phone. And before you ask, yes, they advertise take out on their website and menu, so it isn’t as if it’s a service they don’t normally provide.”- Amelaclya1

“I got 6 to 8 hours a week back in commuting time. That’s, like, about a whole extra work day every week that’s mine to do with as I please. It’s been incredible. And I hadn’t realized how stressed my commute makes me. I don’t have to be careful not to forget anything before I leave for work (or when I’m leaving the office at the end of the day), I don’t have to pack lunch, I don’t have to make sure I’m dressed for the weather both now and in 8 hours when I’m coming home. I don’t have to get wet when I get that wrong, and I don’t have to spend a day at work with my shoes and socks wet, or all of me wet. I don’t have to wait at a bus stop for forty minutes waiting for a bus that should have been here thirty minutes ago.” –S_thyrsoidea

“No Commute =

  • Well no commute
    • No commute people
    • No delayed trains
    • No weather … less health issues (even just less colds) from constant changing temps
  • Time
    • Morning – 2 hours extra sleep and not having to get ready
    • Day – generally chores, laundry, cleaning, dishes get done on work down time. So this frees time on the weekends
    • Afternoon – 1.5 hours of me time.
  • Money
    • Communing total costs for my household (just for work) was around $500 a month. The added cost of heating / cooling, electricity, etc from being home is nowhere near that.
    • Food – I can cook all my own food
    • Dont need to replace going to work stuff. (clothes, shoes, beauty products, etc)
  • Health
    • I can workout more regularly, get sleep, eat better.

Also getting stuck at work by 5 minutes, no longer means getting a train 30 minutes later …. it actually means 5 minutes.”- 424f42_424f42

“Yeeeeep…

I’m not only saving close to 4h a day by not having to commute, but also the costs of public transportation and overpriced lunch near the office. In practice, it’s like having my shifts reduced by 20% and getting a pay raise at the same time” –SchrodingerSemicolon

“I am a recovering alcoholic. Spending most of my time at home exploring my hobby’s, attending virtual counseling, and rebuilding relationships with my loved ones has helped me to realize that no substance has ever given me so much contentment, and I honestly never want to give up what I have now. In 4 weeks, I will be celebrating my 2 year sobriety anniversary. The grass (underneath the foot of snow) has never seemed greener!”- artgirl483

“Corollary: Not needing to act like you want to talk to anyone while you wait for the coffee machine in the morning. And the overall unhealthy coffee culture offices breed, in general.”- dontFart_InSpaceSuit

“No office politics and mindless gossip.”-backdoorsmasher

“If it wasn’t for the pandemic, my dad would be dead right now.

He likes to come over to our place while I’m at work and spend time with my dogs. My papillon got away from him and wanted to play chase in our garage, which is basically a storage unit right now, and she was bobbing and weaving through boxes. When he caught her and took her inside, he noticed he was having a hard time catching his breath.

My brother, who lives with me, offered to let him use his new oxygen meter, which he bought after he developed some temporary sleep apnea after he had covid. The meter was frighteningly low, so he told our dad to go to the walk-in clinic. They told him as soon as he explained his oxygen level that he needed to go to the ER.

He tests negative for covid at the ER, but they found MULTIPLE blood clots in his lungs. They kept him a few days in the hospital, and he made a complete recovery with no permanent damage.

I know my dad very well. Under normal circumstances, he would have gone home, tried to relax, gone to bed that night, and possibly never woken up the next morning. But covid has us all on high alert, especially when it comes to breathing troubles. I NEVER thought I’d be thankful for it

Also after he got out of the hospital, he gave said papillon an extra special doggy treat for, “saving his life.”- faerytheft

“Similarly, if not for remote doctors and virtual visits, I would have let a potentially bad infection fester. I was too embarrassed for years to see a practitioner in person, and while the infection was very recent, I was dreading an appointment. And then, like angels heralding on high, I got an email from my insurance about scheduling remote consultations. I’ve now talked to more doctors this year on my own than ever before, and even made some progress with a therapist.” –cavepainted

“Playing board games with my teenaged kids. We got away from it as they got older. I still kick ass on Scrabble, but they smoke me on Backgammon. Ticket to Ride is a blast. Yahtzee too.

Edit: Well this certainly resonated with the community. To answer a few questions: We don’t play every night. A couple of times a week is where we’re at now. We have more modern games, but Backgammon and Yahtzee- especially Yahtzee- is the one they like to play the most. Monopoly, when played without ‘house rules’ is fun. It probably won’t last when things go back to normal, so I’m loving it while it lasts. Thanks for the awards!”-2leewhohot

“I have two teens (and a spouse). We really enjoy Spoons and Bullshit. Easy, fast paced card games. We also play blackjack as a family. We have a whole set of cards and chips. We keep a running tally of our chips on paper. My husband gets so mad because our daughter plays her gut and he plays by the “rules” and she is like a fake billionaire now and he’s always panhandling for fake money to get him back in the game. It’s a riot. Our son is always the dealer, our “casino” is named after him and it’s a good exercise in social skills and self control.” –dualsplit 

“Cleaner beaches and ocean in Hawaii as millions of tourists stayed home. Of course the economy went to sh*t, but the Aloha ‘Āina prospered.”- QuackedUp99

“I’ve been asking, no, begging for WFH for 2 years prior, filling in medical reasons, etc. My boss agreed. HR & management basically ignored me. Like, dream on, never gonna happen.

Then Covid came and now all of a sudeen everyone can work from home.

They still send regular “covid emails” thanking us for our incredible adaptability in these difficult times, and they hope we will soon be able to return to “normal”.

Screw your normal…”chicken farm” blue light high strung open office microwawed lunch rush hour commute normal.

Why would anyone hope they can return to that sh**?! Do people really have it that bad at home?”-unikatniusername

“Yeah this past year has probably been the healthiest I’ve ever been. Haven’t ever had anything more than a minor headache, and that’s usually just due to dehydration or something mundane.”- SpicymeLLoN

“I went 2020 without a cold, where I’d definitely get at least two every year. However I succumbed last week. My daughter works in a supermarket and brought it home with her” – Moramug

“I’m missing a tooth fairly close to the front of my mouth and I don’t feel self conscious smiling in public when I’m wearing a mask. It’s a silly thing, but I kinda missed real smiles.

Thanks for the awards, guys! My most liked/commented comment is about my fucked up teeth. That’s… something. Lol.”- GreenOnionCrusader

“Me too! I lost 17 lbs and I just was discharged from therapy because my depression is officially, clinically at a zero. Go us!

To answer some questions:

Weight loss: I initially did a wellness challenge called 75HARD—a 75 day challenge that requires two workouts per day and sticking to a diet of your choice, among several other daily tasks. That kicked my butt into gear and got me into the habit of regularly exercising and eating well, so I’ve lost a few more lbs since I completed it in September. This also helped my mental health a lot, but not completely.

Mental health: I did Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which is a form of CBT that focuses on accepting your feelings and mindfully working through them, rather than avoiding them. My therapist had me fill out a questionnaire every time we met and based on my answers, he was able to calculate numbers on a depression scale. I can’t go into more detail about that, cause I don’t know, but I started at a 42/100 and last week was at a 3 on one scale. And on another I started out at a 7/10 and last week was at a 0. So I’m clinically not depressed I guess. Plus, the last several weeks I’ve come to him feeling great and having little to talk about, which meant it was time for me to be discharged.

Why was I discharged? My therapist works out of a medical facility, rather than private practice, so they go based on a medical model. It’s more of a “let’s give our patients the tools they need to cope and once they no longer NEED us, we’ll let them go,” so they can make room for more patients with acute needs, rather than a “we’ll see patients as long as they pay us.” I could’ve been referred to someone like that, but, like I said, I didn’t have much to talk about by the end.

What specifically helped me? Mindfulness exercises and writing down 5 good things about myself each day. My negative self talk was the biggest factor in my depression. I don’t do that anymore. I am a badass!”- yojothobodoflo

“Man I feel totally the opposite. I’ve gained weight and feel totally anxious and depressed. I think I was before but now feel like deffff am. Considering therapy but feel overwhelmed by the different options. Like there are so many different titles and qualifications and methods and the insurance is even more confusing than finding a primary care. Which I also need to do….”- Pficky

“No pressure to go somewhere on my days off. I don’t feel like I’m wasting time when I have days off and don’t spend them traveling or seeing people. I love staying at home and just hanging with my two cats. Sweat pants on, messy bun, junk food and games. I’m content with that.”- not-a-real_username

“Yes. I think I have learned to accept my homebody nature instead of feeling like I “should” be going out and doing things. There’s nothing wrong with making a home for yourself and then enjoying being there.”-notreallylucy

“My employer now knows for sure that working from home is completely doable and really doesn’t fuck up productivity.

I’ve also learned that I like going into the office once or twice a week just to break up the monotony of working from home all the time.”- AcrolloPeed

”For me personally, online learning. It just clicks with my brain somehow. I’ve gotten the best grades these past few semesters of my whole time in college. I’m off academic probation, I got an A in a class I failed twice before (required for my major), and I am able to do a second major I really wanted. I’m so much less stressed about exams and it feels so good to be able to show my parents grades I’m proud of. I don’t know how I would’ve been able to do this without online classes. I had a lot of trouble with attendance, and my bad memory, and now I’m able to go to class from my room and re-watch lectures and have some notes for exams. I felt so low my first few years of college and I finally feel good about myself as a student. It’s still hard to believe that it’s me getting these grades and graduation is scary but I’m so glad I get to do it.

Edit: thank you so much for all of the support and the really interesting discussions people are having! And a special thank you to the people who gave me awards, that’s very kind of you all!

I think the big takeaway here is that neither online nor in-person classes are objectively better, and that different learning formats work for different people. Hopefully colleges will be able to offer all or most classes in either format post-pandemic so that students can choose which version works for them. Good luck everyone, I believe in you!”-pastelkawaiibunny

“Seconding this. I can pause the recording to think through something I don’t understand, or work through a proof that clearly isn’t trivial despite the lecturer’s insistence so it won’t distract me for the rest of the lesson. The easy parts I can juat fast-forward through.”-Vampyricon

“You learned something important about yourself.. Several somethings, actually. You now know where and how and under what conditions you thrive.

The world has also learned several somethings too. “Out of the box” is no longer a metaphor. There are many ways to achieve. Remote employees can and will deliver. Embracing all this improves the bottom line!

Put these two things together: You now know what place you seek, and that place now EXISTS! Enjoy the finding of it, friend…”-JuliusVrooder

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Beauty Queen Who Was Abandoned At An Airport As A Baby Reconnects With Her Birth Mother 40 Years Later

Fierce

Beauty Queen Who Was Abandoned At An Airport As A Baby Reconnects With Her Birth Mother 40 Years Later

Marcel Thomas / Getty

Like many adopted children, Elizabeth Hunterton grew up aware that her nonbiological parents loved her. According to a recent interview with the former beauty pageant queen, she also had many dreams and ideas of how she came to be one of millions of children to be adopted every year in the United States.

As a young girl, Hunterton spent her youth dreaming that she’d come from royalty and had “been lifted away on the talons of a majestic eagle.”

Eventually, she learned that the truth was far more personal and tragic.

In January 1980, Hunterton was abandoned at the gate of a Nevada airport by two pilots

“I was about 10 days old,” Hunterton explained to People magazine in a recent interview. “I grew up my entire life trying to figure out what I did in those 10 days that ultimately led to them saying, ‘Let’s just leave her at the airport.'”

While Hunterton was adopted into a home soon after her abandonment the beauty pageant queen says in the years after, she often lamented a part of her life that she felt was missing. Fortunately, after taking a 23andMe test this past August, Hunterton has connected with her biological mother for the very first time.

Having had little to work with in regards to finding her biological parents (this includes having no birthplace, birth date or race) made life difficult for her when she was younger.

“It was really through this process of finding my birth mother that I’m able to rewrite my narrative,” she explained in the interview with People. “I had really prepared myself to be rejected by both sides of my biological family… And It ended up being so much more beautiful than anything I could’ve written.”

Hunterton was raised by a white family and crowned Miss Nevada in 2004.

Despite having a happy and loving upbringing, Hunterton felt lost about the uncertainty surrounding her own race. According to People, she often wondered if “everyone from her friends to her Starbucks barista were somehow related to her.”

“When this all started unfolding, there were certainly points that I thought to myself, ‘Maybe I’ll just walk away now,’ because it just got hard,” she explained. Eventually, in 2018, DNA databases helped Hunterton track down her biological father. Unfortunately, she soon discovered that he had died in 2004, and had never known she had been born.

Soon enough her search brought her to 23andMe where her profile found a few hits in March. Eventually, Hunterton reached out to three different women hopefully that one of them would be a match. All three ultimately proved not to be a match and Hunterton decided to give up after so much disappointment.

“I pulled out my bucket list, crossed it off, wrote her name down, and that was it,” she explained before sharing that just as she began to change her focus back to raising her 5- and 6-year-old sons, she received a ping for another connection. This time it came from a second cousin who offered to help put her in contact with her birth mother.

Hunterton soon learned that she had a Black father and a Japanese mother both of whom met at the Fort Ord military base. She also learned that she was born in a hospital in California and had not been intentionally abandoned.

“When I received her email, she shared that she wasn’t able to take care of me as she believed I deserved,” Hunterton explained to People. “Therefore, she gave me to her roommate who was supposed to take me to an adoption agency. When my birth mother was told that I was actually left at the airport instead, it took quite a toll.”

Hunterton explained because of her connection to her biological mother she was able to track down her birth certificate.

In an emailed statement to People Hunterton’s biological mother explained that at first she was “surprised, scared and truly overwhelmed” by the idea of meeting her daughter.

“I was shocked to hear from her and by the amount of research she did. It was all very overwhelming and brought back a lot of painful memories,” her biological mother who remains anonymous to People but shared that she is 65-year-old explained. “However, it’s also a tremendous blessing to find out what a strong and wonderful woman she turned out to be. One day, when we’ve all healed a bit more, hopefully, we’ll be able to meet.”

“She has such a good heart,” Hunterton explained of her mother. “We exchange occasional emails and texts and holiday niceties. But the good thing is, I have a mom. I don’t need to put any unfair, unrealistic expectations on her. I just give her permission to be exactly who she is and it’s perfect.”

“She’s now giving herself permission to live her life and it’s actually pretty beautiful,” Hunterton went onto explain of her biological mother. “She says, ‘All my hopes and dreams are in you. I never thought that anybody that looked like you could come from me, somebody that’s poised and eloquent and successful. Those are just things that never happened for me. But here you are.’ So now she’s living her life, and it’s pretty beautiful to watch her heal and kind of come to life… I think that was a really beautiful way for the story to unfold, that in the end, it flowed so beautifully, both through my mom, myself and my birth mother. It really kind of unified all three of us in different ways. But it was all I could’ve ever hoped for to hear from her.”

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