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6 Jul, 2020 23:13

‘Central Park Karen’ hit with criminal charges for calling 911 on black birdwatcher, but mob wants more

‘Central Park Karen’ hit with criminal charges for calling 911 on black birdwatcher, but mob wants more

The white woman who became the poster child for white privilege when she called 911 on a black birdwatcher in New York’s Central Park has been charged with filing a false report. But the internet wants more punishment.

Amy Cooper, the former insurance investment manager turned social media scapegoat for systemic racism, has been charged with “falsely reporting an incident in the third degree,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced in a statement on Monday. Vance also encouraged others who’d been the “target of false reporting” to contact his office.

Cooper, dubbed “Central Park Karen” on social media, lost her job and (briefly) her dog after video of her calling 911 on black birder Christian Cooper (no relation) and claiming he was threatening her life went viral in May. No threats were apparent in the video, and the male Cooper claimed he’d merely told her to put her dog on a leash as mandated by law in that area of Central Park and deployed treats he carried to lure dogs away from noncompliant owners.

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The white woman’s misfortunes might have ended there, jobless and reviled by the internet as the embodiment of the dreaded “Karen” archetype. However, the video went viral the same day white police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on the neck of black security guard George Floyd for eight minutes in Minneapolis, kicking off months of protests and riots that have forced race into the center of the national discussion. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo capitalized on the Central Park incident, adding a measure criminalizing “false, race-based 911 reports” to a package of tepid police reforms he signed into law last month – all but guaranteeing Cooper would face legal repercussions for her itchy dialing fingers. 

Lawyer Robert Barnes announced he would be representing Cooper, promising she would be found not guilty and excoriating “cancerous #CancelCulture.

Many on social media were pleased that justice was being served.

However, most wanted to see more charges brought against Cooper – especially animal cruelty, since she appeared to be choking her dog in the viral video. Several called for more charges for false reporting, or even a “Karen” registry.

But a few came to Cooper’s defense, whether because they thought she didn’t deserve to be scapegoated for all American racism or because they thought the District Attorney was wasting resources on the case.

Vanishingly few bothered to square their “abolish the police and prisons” rhetoric with their desire to see Central Park Karen behind bars, however.

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