|Ex-Insurance Manager Is Charged With Filing A False Police Report Against Birdwatcher|
By Jorge Alexandria - July 8, 2020
A lot of people loved it. Some people thought it was harsh but there is no doubt that adjustercom’s story, “Caught on Tape: The Bird Watcher and the Insurance Manager”, published on June 2, 2020 generated interest.
Now the infamous White woman who played the endangered white woman card and called the police with a false report about threats by a Black man who simply asked her to leash her dog in New York’s Central Park, during a videotaped dispute, was formally charged, on Monday, July 6, 2020, with filing a false report.
District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. filed the lone misdemeanor charge, forty two (42) days after Amy Cooper, a then insurance portfolio manager,drew widespread condemnation on Memorial Day for calling 911 to report she was being threatened by “an African-American man” when bird watcher Christian Cooper appeared to keep his distance as he recorded her rant on his phone.
The episode went viral almost immediately. Coupled with the killing, of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, by a white Minneapolis police officer who pinned Floyd’s neck under his knee, the next day, our nation underwent historic protest against systemic racial inequity and injustice that re-invigorated passionate debates about white supremacy and racism across the United States. Those incidents prompted several insurance carriers nationwide to pay lip service, via email statements, to their employees and customer base that they stand “against racism” and that they condemn “racism, discrimination and senseless acts of violence.”
Amy Cooper here on May 25th 2020, is in Central Park calling the Police on Christian Cooper, referring to him as an "African American male" who is threatening her. She admonishes him during the time of this photo to stop taking video of her. from YouTube.
It made for good PR work even if their declarations were hollow and lathered with corporate speak and no actual pledge of financial support to the Black Lives Matter movement or similar organizations. It even forced brands such as Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s and Cream of Wheat to reconsider the racial stereotypes emblazoned on their packaging and for NASCAR to pull the plug on the unfurling of the Confederate battle flags at car races (where amazingly the flag of a defeated army is waved 155 years after the end of the war). That was a big one. In introspect maybe Caucasian America has finally awoken and realized that neutrality on race-related issues is tantamount to complicity.
Amy Cooper is scheduled to be arraigned October 14. As unlikely as it may seem, her defense is being boosted by the man she victimized, Christian Cooper (the birdwatcher). He has not cooperated with the prosecution’s investigation. The birdwatcher stated that Amy Cooper lost her job over the ordeal and was publicly shamed after the video he shot was posted online. Those consequences alone, Mr. Cooper said, were too much punishment. In his view, she’s already paid a steep price.
Christian Cooper, the bird watcher, (no relation to Amy Cooper), doesn't want to cooperate with the district attorney in prosecuting Amy. He thinks Amy Cooper has been punished enough for her bad actions with the consequences that have already happened to her. from YouTube.
Mr. Cooper said in a statement on Tuesday. “That’s not enough of a deterrent to others? Bringing her more misery just seems like piling on.” He added that he understood there was a greater principle at stake and that this should be defended. “So if the DA feels the need to pursue charges, he should pursue charges. But he can do that without me.”
Christian’s sister, Melody, disagreed with her brother’s stance on non-cooperation with the DA. In an op-ed in The New York Times, she expressed that Amy weaponized her whiteness against Chris’ blackness and the presumption of guilt associated with being black. She was like, “Oh, I know you are afraid of interacting with the police”, because getting the police involved meant Chris was either going to jail or he was going to die. Christian’s Ivy League degree and impressive resume would not have protected him against a quick thinking “shoot first ask questions later” cop. In some way, shape, or form, Chris would have lost save for the videotape.
Christian Cooper remains a senior editor at Health Science Communications, a public relations agency for the health care industry.
Mr. Cooper’s decision not to cooperate may present some challenges for the prosecution. However, Amy’s life is so colorful that she may be her own worst enemy.
Her neighbors on the Upper West Side, in a building once known as Trump Place, recall she had a tendency to get into personal disputes. Most held her at arm’s length because of what they described as her combative behavior with others, including dog walkers and the building staff.
Marisol De Leon, 40, said Amy Cooper frequently walked Henry unleashed, and became irate when told not to. “There was a sense of entitlement,” De Leon said.
“From what I saw, she was very devoted to her animals,” said Maria Meade, 60, who lives in a nearby building. “The only thing I’ll tell you is she never spoke directly to a person. She always spoke through her dog, and in a baby voice. It was really bizarre.”
Alison Faircloth, 37, also a neighbor and dog owner, recalled that last winter, she came upon Amy Cooper on the verge of tears outside the building’s lobby. A doorman had cursed at her for no reason, Amy Cooper told her. Amy Cooper vowed to get the doorman fired, Faircloth said.
But when Faircloth asked the doorman what had happened, he told her that Amy Cooper had complained about a broken elevator, then cursed at him after she barged into a security booth and had to be removed by a guard.
“There’s always a narrative from her about someone who has done her wrong,” Faircloth said.
Records show that in 2015, Amy filed a lawsuit against a married man she was involved with whom she had lent $65,000. When he did not leave his wife for her, she filed suit in Manhattan to get back the money, before settling. This was during the time Amy rose to vice president of insurance portfolio management, making investments for insurance companies at Franklin Templeton. It was on that corporate ladder that she met Martin Priest, a married colleague at Lehman Brothers, where, her resume said, she worked from 2005 to 2008.
In the lawsuit she said she was no longer dating Priest and sought repayment of $65,000. She said she had given him the money to help speed his divorce and pay another woman he was involved with to abort her pregnancy, according to court records.
According to the lawsuit, Amy Cooper said Priest preyed on her emotions to get the money, promising it would help them to be together.
Instead, she said she discovered that his wife, Tianna, whom he was divorcing, was pregnant — and Priest was planning to marry a third woman, who was also pregnant.
In an interview, Priest denied that he’d had a romantic relationship with Amy Cooper, though he admitted to borrowing the money. He called her a “stalker” who fictionalized their relationship, then erupted when it did not go her way.
In a weird twist, since the lawsuit, Amy Cooper has developed a close friendship with Tianna Priest, who is now divorced from Martin Priest, after Amy Cooper exposed his infidelity to her. Amy Cooper and Tianna Priest now spend holidays together.
Tianna Priest declined to comment on the Central Park encounter, but praised Amy Cooper’s professionalism. “Work, work, work, work, work — she’s a workaholic,” Tianna Priest said. “She loves numbers, so she gets it and she’s good at it.”
To Tianna Priest’s family, Amy Cooper is a hero, who saved Tianna Priest from a toxic marriage, said Tom Selby, Tianna Priest’s father. He blamed his former son-in-law: “Amy is just another one of his victims,” Selby said.
Before arriving in New York, Amy Cooper lived in Ontario, Canada, where she attended the University of Waterloo. She obtained a master’s degree at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She has worked at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup, and AIG.
A day after the video went viral, internet commenters noted that the Instagram account dedicated to Henry documented injuries that the dog had suffered. That evening, under pressure, Amy Cooper returned the dog to Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue.
On June 3, ten days after the viral incident, the organization said it had given Henry back to Amy Cooper at her request after a vet determined the dog was perfectly healthy and -- after law enforcement refused to take the dog in their custody.
For all the Amy bashing, it’s worth noting that Amy was well-versed in politically correct terminology, carefully deploying the preferred term “African American” in her 911 call about the fake threat. Moreover, she did rescue dog (Henry) and wore a face mask (as required during our COVID-19 pandemic). More importantly, she apologized and said, “I reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions when, in fact, I was the one who was acting inappropriately by not having my dog on a leash.” She continued, “I am well aware of the pain that misassumptions and insensitive statements about race cause. I would never have imagined that I would be involved in the type of incident that occurred.”
You know what? I believe her and I hope she has the opportunity to rebuild herself and to re-engage with her own sense of purpose. Maybe America is ready to trade white supremacy for black equality. We just have to hammer that message to police departments all across the land who during the protest acted like an affronted gang, using illegal force where it was not necessary, shooting protestors and journalists alike in the face for sport, slashing tires of protestor’s cars, all while covering their badge numbers or blacking out their names on their uniforms while protecting statues of dead racist Confederate generals or a racist President’s stroll through Lafayette Park for an iconic photo-op at St, John’s church.
Jorge Alexandría is a former U.S. Government official (Labor Dept.) and an Army veteran who received his B.A. in Political Science from Cal State Los Angeles. He also graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
He has more than 20 years of experience in claims handling, supervision, and risk management.
He can be reached at Riskletter@mail.com.
Any views and knowledge expressed in this article belong to Jorge Alexandria alone and do not represent any other organization or person.
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