NEW YORK, Oct 14 (Reuters) — A white woman who became an internet video sensation in May over a racial incident in New York's Central Park not only falsely claimed that a Black man threatened her, but also that he tried to assault her, prosecutors said on Wednesday, Oct. 14.
Amy Cooper, 41, was arraigned in New York County Criminal Court on a charge of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
"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," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement.
The now famous incident erupted when Cooper took her dog to New York's Central Park, and a birdwatcher, Christian Cooper (no relation) asked her to follow park rules and put the dog on a leash.
"I'm going to call the cops," Amy Cooper tells Christian Cooper on a video. "I'm going to tell them there's an African-American man threatening my life."
The video of the May 25 incident, which was viewed more than 30 million times by the next day, drew outrage, coming on the heels of several other widely seen incidents of white people calling police on Black people without cause.
It also occurred the same day George Floyd, a Black man, died on a Minneapolis street while his neck was under the knee of a white police officer for more than eight minutes.
Cooper apologized and was later fired by her employer, global investment firm Franklin Templeton.
Manhattan prosecutors brought the charge on July 6.
Cooper's attorney, Robert Barnes, said in an email that he had no comment on the newly disclosed allegedly false assault claim.
Officer Francisco Tejada, who responded to Cooper's call, said in a statement that when he asked her if the man had tried to "assault or touch her in any way," she said no, prosecutors said.
Cooper's next court date was set for Nov. 17.
(Reporting by Peter Szekely; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)