A woman who falsely told New York police that a black man who asked for her dog to be leashed was “threatening” her life is to face misdemeanour charges, the Manhattan district attorney announced on Monday.
Amy Cooper, who was fired from her position at an investment firm after a video of the incident went viral in May, could face up to a year in jail for filing a false report.
"Today our office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree," said Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance. “We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable.”
A video Ms Cooper's confrontation with Christian Cooper, an avid birdwatcher who was was walking with binoculars in the park, caused outrage and was seen by millions of people after it was posted online.
The clip begins shortly after Mr Cooper reportedly asked Ms Cooper to put her dog on a leash — a park rule meant to protect wildlife in the 'Ramble' area of the park.
The video shows Ms Cooper holding her dog by the collar as she asked the man to stop filming her. After approaching Mr Cooper, he asked her to not come towards him. She then said in the video she would be calling the police.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” Ms Cooper said.
“Please tell them whatever you like,” Mr Cooper responded.
Ms Cooper then called police and appeared hysterical as she said: “There’s a man, African American, he has a bicycle helmet. He is recording me and threatening me and my dog.”
She later asked for police to be sent “immediately”.
The video ended with Mr Cooper saying “thank you” after she put a leash on her dog.