Amy Cooper, 41, has completed a diversionary counseling program intended to educate her on the harm of her actions that gave her the nickname Central Park Karen. She made headlines after encountering Christian Cooper, 57, in Central Park, New York, United States on May 25, 2020.
That day, Christian was bird-watching at a wooded area of Central Park called The Ramble when he saw Amy walking her dog, a cocker spaniel named Henry. He reminded her that dogs must be leashed at all times in that area, which is popular with birdwatchers like him.
When Amy refused to comply, Christian told her he might do something with the dog that she would not like. He took a video of her reaction.
“I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” Amy is heard saying in the video. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”
The New York Police Department confirmed to CNN that Amy did make a call that day but when officers responded, neither she nor Christian was present. She was charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.
Amy, who is originally from Canada, is white. Christian is African-American.
Represented by Robert Barnes, Amy went on to complete five sessions at The Critical Therapy Center in New York City and she learned a lot in the sessions, according to her therapist. On February 16, 2021, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office dropped the misdemeanor criminal charge against her.
“Given the issues at hand and Ms. Cooper’s lack of criminal background, we offered her, consistent with our position on many misdemeanor cases involving a first arrest, an alternative, restorative justice resolution designed not just to punish but to educate and promote community healing,” CNN quoted assistant district attorney Joan Illuzzi as saying. The Critical Therapy Center provided classes to Amy that focused on the ways in which she could “appreciate that racial identities shape our lives but we cannot use them to harm ourselves or others,” the attorney added.
While Barnes praised the prosecutors, Christian raised another issue, which for him is more important. In a statement obtained by Yahoo! News, Christian said he was far more outraged by the U.S. Congress denying statehood to the mostly non-white District of Columbia than by anything Amy did.
For Christian, the U.S. Congress could fix this gross racial injustice today. He added, “That’s what people should be focused on, not last year’s events in Central Park.”