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.
On May 25 in the Ramble section of Central Park, a wooded area frequented by birdwatchers, Christian Cooper, who is not related, insisted that she put her dog on a leash - a request Amy Cooper refused. Her lawyer also declined to speak but said he agreed with prosecutors, the Post added. But when responding officers arrived, she admitted that the male had not tried to assault her or come into contact with her, prosecutors said.
Cooper, 40, was charged in October with falsely reporting an assault when it was revealed that after her initial call to police to report an alleged threat, she falsely reported that Christian Cooper assaulted her.
She added, "I'm not a racist". Cooper was heard saying, "I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life".
Ms Illuzzi-Orbon said Ms Cooper's program, which included five therapy sessions, stressed appreciating racial identities but not using them to cause harm. "Psychoeducation about racial equality is woven into each therapy session to prompt understanding and reflection".
Illuzzi says Cooper entered the program and completed 5 sessions, and her therapist reported it was a "moving experience" for Cooper and she learned a lot. New York Criminal Court Justice Anne Swern approved the dismissal of the charges.
The video of the encounter was viewed millions of times online and was seen as an example of the racial attitudes in New York City around the same time the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked a national reckoning on police brutality and systemic racism.
"Mr. Cooper did not wish to participate in the criminal justice process but we determined that the defendant's offense wasn't exclusively against one individual but was a threat to the community if allowed to go unchecked", Illuzzi said in the statement. The exchange elevated and Christian Cooper tried to lure the woman's dog with a treat.