October 16, 2020

Prosecutors say Amy Cooper lied about a Black man assaulting her. American history has many other, more tragic examples

By Nicole Chavez

(CNN)When Amy Cooper called police for a second time, she claimed that a Black man birdwatching tried to assault her. But it was a lie, prosecutors say.

A viral video captured the moments after Christian Cooper (no relation) asked her to leash her dog in Central Park. The incident in May was a flashpoint in ongoing national conversation about White people increasingly calling the police on Black people who are going about their everyday lives. It also took place on the same day Minneapolis police officers killed George Floyd.
Now, Cooper’s subsequent call to police — made public Wednesday during a virtual hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court — echoes the pattern of lies that White women have told about Black men since the Jim Crow era. And the consequences have often been deadly or led to wrongful convictions.
Cooper, who faces a misdemeanor charge for falsely reporting an incident, told the responding officers that Christian Cooper had not tried to assault her, the district attorney said.