One of the more notorious Karens, Amy Cooper, was fired, lost her dog and will be a social pariah for the foreseeable future. This was the punishment imposed by the mob for calling the police and claiming that her life was threatened by a “Black bird watcher.”
Wasn’t that enough? Nooooooo. No, says the social justice mob. No, says the Manhattan District Attorney, who might under other circumstances take responsibility for its actions but is now too vulnerable and subject to influence with Cy Vance being primaried for DA that appealing to the mob matters. And so, Amy Cooper, unemployed dogless pariah, will now be prosecuted for the misdemeanor of falsely reporting an incident.
On Monday, Ms. Cooper was charged with filing a false report, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, the latest fallout from an encounter that resonated across the country and provoked intense discussions about how Black people are harmed when sham reports to the police are made about them by white people.
Is this normal? Hardly.
The pending criminal charge against Ms. Cooper appears to be among the first that a white person in the United States has faced for wrongfully calling the police to make a complaint about a Black person.
It’s fairly clear that her description to police that her life was being threatened by a black man was false, unless one is of the view that any interaction involving a man challenging a woman inherently threatens her life. Had the bird watcher not been black, and almost certainly if Amy were black and the bird watcher white, it could very easily have gone that way, with the same woke folks screaming about men threatening women’s lives. Weird how their passions can be a bit inconsistent and hypocritical.
“We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable,” said Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney.
Cy is running, and he won’t have Weinstein’s money to support his campaign this time around. But falsely reporting is almost never charged, so why here? Why now? And why are the same people who claim to abhor police and the punitive system suddenly demanding prosecution?
People are rarely charged with filing a false police report, legal experts said, because the authorities do not want to discourage the reporting of crimes and because it can be difficult to prove that a person made a false report knowingly.
There is a difference between what happened here and fabricating a crime wholesale, such as happens with accusations of rape. And yet the false accuser is almost never charged, and the rationale is that prosecutors don’t want to discourage victims from coming forward. Of course, people who fabricate crimes aren’t victims, but still.
But experts said that the evidence in the case against Ms. Cooper was strong and that it could have broader implications in other instances of white people making false police reports against Black people.
“To the extent that this woman was arguably deploying racial stereotypes and weaponizing them, it will make people think twice,” said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor and a retired federal judge. “It is a big deal.”
To say “it’s a big deal” at this particular moment in time is an understatement, although whether it would have made a ripple at any other time is unlikely.
Lucy Lang, a former Manhattan prosecutor and the director of the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said that filing a false report was “a very troubling crime.
Adding race to the equation, she added, created “just an absolute recipe for a tragic disaster.”
Sounds very serious. Does this mean that all the anti-carceral folk are now loving the cops, the system, prisons? After all, we have laws and the laws must be obeyed. Or has Amy Cooper suffered enough by the punishment inflicted by the mob, and further prosecution is excessive and unwarranted, particularly since the same people demanding it are the ones who reject it for defendants they prefer?
The mob has already exacted its vengeance on Amy Cooper. What should come next? If “legal consequences” should be imposed, what of the white women who falsely accuse black men of rape? Or falsely accuse any man of rape? It’s highly unlikely that Cooper will be sentenced to incarceration for what happened in Central Park under any circumstances, but is there any purpose to be served by prosecuting her now?
*Tuesday Talk rules apply.