Things That Matter

Amy Cooper, The Woman Who Called The Cops On A Black Man Birdwatching In Central Park Is Being Charged

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.

Thank you to the concerned public for reaching out to us about a video involving a dog that was adopted from our rescue…

Posted by Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, Inc. on Monday, May 25, 2020

“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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Women Are Speaking Out About What Changed Their Minds About Abortion

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Women Are Speaking Out About What Changed Their Minds About Abortion

Mark Reinstein / Getty

With so much at stake this election year, it’s important to understand the circumstances behind some of our biggest beliefs. Currently there are little questions as to whether Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is in opposition to a person’s right to abortion. Her Catholic faith, her academic writing, and accounts from friends affirm that she has opposes the medical procedure. During a 2017 confirmation hearing for her current position as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, Coney Barret stated that she was bound to follow the Roe decision as an appeals court judge stating “Roe has been affirmed many times and survived many challenges in the court… And it’s more than 40 years old, and it’s clearly binding on all courts of appeals. And so it’s not open to me or up to me, and I would have no interest in, as a court of appeals judge, challenging that precedent.”

There’s likely no chance of changing her mind, but we were curious about how women felt.

A recent post on Reddit posed the question: What changed your mind on abortion?

Check out the answers below!

“Being pregnant (with a very much wanted baby). I’ve always been pro choice, but learning about how much can go wrong in a pregnancy made it very apparent abortion is far from a black and white issue. For example, say the fetus has some defect where it can be carried to term, but will 100% die shortly after birth. There is no reason the mother should be forced to carry out the whole pregnancy. There are so many other nuances like this that are not possible to legislate.” – kittyinparis

“having one myself. i was religious, orthodox christian once upon a time. i hate to be one of those people who didn’t understand something until i experienced it myself but it is what it was. i extremely naive and ignorant because i thought that it was as simple as “don’t get pregnant if you don’t want a kid”. but it’s really not. and you never know what someone’s story is. and even then, regardless of their situation i think if someone doesn’t want to be pregnant it’s immoral to force them to be.” – Reddit user

“Honestly? Biology class. They went over sexual reproduction step by step and I just couldn’t buy the whole “humanity begins at conception” thing anymore. Then I started reading what all those scary buzzwords meant and I got a bit pissed off. Turns out the evil “partial-birth abortions” are usually called D&Es and they’re usually only done to babies with no chance of survival or in the cases of miscarriages. That’s not evil. That’s sad. I felt lied to, in a big way.” – Moritani

“I learned more about the concepts of bodily autonomy and consent and decided that it’s wrong to force people to remain pregnant against their will.” – enerjem

“When I first learned about the concept it seemed like a terrible thing but even after just 20 minutes of research (I did a lot more clearly, but this is just to emphasize how simple this decision was) I became pro-choice at 14ish, and I’ve had that stance ever since. So I only barely changed my mind really, but I think it counts because without looking into it I could’ve gone on believing it to be morally repugnant just because of what it sounds like and because it’s a subject that’s so easy to get carried away on and not look at objectively.” – ypical_Humanoid

“Paying my own bills. It’s a lot harder to feed two mouths than one.” – Reddit user

“Having kids. Pre-kids i was very prolife. Went to rallys and everything. Would have stressed and felt guilty if i got pregnant and dont knownwhat i would have chosen though. 4 kids later and several oops…im very pro choice.” – Strikingachord

“I was pro-life until I was about 13. I figure my brain developed more and I was then better able to see the issue in a more global and expansive way and determined that pro-choice was the most ethical stance.” – searedscallops

“Meeting someone in college who had had one in the past, and who spoke openly about it. She didn’t regret it or torture herself with guilt and shame over it, but she wasn’t a depraved monster, either. She was a wonderful person who did what was best for herself and her situation.” –coffeeblossom

“Having to get one myself.” –aj4ever

“I don’t know that I was ever pro-life in the same way I don’t think I was ever really Christian. I grew up in an Evangelical Protestant denomination, and until about middle school I mostly parroted things I heard. Things like “hate the sin love the sinner” for anything from being gay to probably having an abortion.

Sometime around middle school I started questioning all of it, forming my own opinions on things. I landed on atheist pro-choice feminist and have stayed there since.” – DejaBlonde

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Amy Coney Barrett Has Refused To Acknowledge That Systematic Racism Exists

Things That Matter

Amy Coney Barrett Has Refused To Acknowledge That Systematic Racism Exists

Pool / Getty

We know LGBTQ rights, birth control, and race are under threat as Amy Coney Barrett as President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. We know that that conservative judge has been evasive in answering comments about her beliefs which, if appointed, would steer her in making fundamental decisions that could affect American citizens’ lives for decades. Still, though we knew things are bound to go sideways as most things under the Trump administration have, we didn’t realize that an educated woman living in today’s world would refuse to acknowledge a basic societal fact: that “systemic racism” exists in the United States.

In written responses submitted Tuesday night, Barrett repeated her refusal to say whether “systemic racism” exists in our country.

After Sen. Mazie Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii asked her to explain her view of the existence of “systemic racism” in the United States, Barret refused the opportunity to acknowledge its existence.

“At the hearing, you acknowledged that racism persists in our country, but you refused to answer where there is systemic racism, calling it a ‘policy question.’ You also refused to answer other questions based on your view that they are ‘policy questions,’” Hirono wrote in his questions. “What makes a statement a policy question rather than a question of fact?”

“I believe that racism persists in our country, but as I explained at the hearing, whether there is ‘systemic racism’ is a public policy question of substantial controversy, as evidenced by the disagreement among senators on this very question during the hearing,” Barrett replied. “As a sitting judge and judicial nominee, it would be inappropriate for me to offer an opinion on the matter.”

Barrett’s approach to the question is not totally uncommon. Previous Supreme Court nominees have avoided answering questions concerning precedent. Barrett clung to the approach during her confirmation hearing last week while sitting before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Barrett used this as a standard and repeatedly cited it as a reason for dodging questions.

Systemic racism exists within our country without question.

It persists in our academic settings, workplaces, as well as in our court and judicial system. The fact is that when a certain group dominates a majority of positions of decision-making power, others struggle to exist and get by let alone get ahead. For generations and right now, white people have been the dominating group with decision-making power and people of color have suffered as a result. Acknowledgment is a vital part of making this change. Particularly from our leaders.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Barrett’s confirmation on Thursday afternoon.

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