The white dog-walker who called the cops on a black man in Central Park has prompted a proposal for new hate crime legislation.
State Sen. Brian Benjamin (D-Manhattan) introduced a bill Tuesday that would add falsely reporting an incident to hate crime-eligible offenses. The list of eligible crimes currently ranges from murder to assault to criminal mischief, among others.
“I worry that if she had not been filmed this woman may have been given the benefit of the doubt, and that this man could have faced serious, perhaps life-threatening consequences if the police had arrived,” the Harlem senator said in a statement.
The white dog walker, Amy Cooper, was caught on camera Monday calling 911 on Christian Cooper, a black bird-watcher, when he began filming her after asking her to put a leash on her dog, as is required in the park.
Amy began approaching the man and snapped, “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”
The clip was shared on social media, sparking widespread outrage from viewers calling Amy a racist “Karen.”
“It is frightening that this incident happened just blocks from where many of my constituents live and that this woman was so willing to fabricate a story despite being filmed,” Benjamin added.
Amy Cooper has been fired from her job at the investment firm Franklin Templeton, while the Central Park Civic Association has called for her to be banned from the park.
She has also surrendered her pet cocker spaniel to the Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue after some viewers were angered with how she dragged the pooch around by its neck harness in the video.
Amy Cooper has since apologized for the incident, insisting she’s “not a racist” and that her “entire life is being destroyed.”
Christian began filming after taking out treats for the dog when Amy refused to put it on a leash. She’s insisted she felt threatened because she didn’t know what the treats were made of.
The NYPD has no plans to bring charges against the woman, NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker said.