White woman prosecuted for calling New York police on black bird watcher

Amy Cooper, walking her dog who called the police during a videotaped dispute with Christian Cooper, a Black man, was charged Monday, July 6, 2020, with filing a false report. (AP Photo)
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Updated 06 July 2020

White woman prosecuted for calling New York police on black bird watcher

  • A video of the May 25 altercation sparked anger about African Americans being falsely reported to cops
  • It was posted online the same day that unarmed black man George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis

NEW YORK: A white woman who called the police on a black bird watcher over a dispute about her dog in New York’s Central Park is to be prosecuted, officials said Monday.
Amy Cooper faces prosecution for falsely reporting an incident, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr said in a statement.
The misdemeanor charge can carry a jail sentence of up to a year. Cooper has been ordered to appear for an arraignment on October 14.
A video of the May 25 altercation sparked anger about African Americans being falsely reported to cops, and made global headlines.
It was posted online the same day that unarmed black man George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, launching weeks of angry protests.
Christian Cooper filmed his namesake as she approached him after he requested she leash her dog in a wooded area of the park popular with bird watchers.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life,” she tells Cooper, after dialing 911 and while struggling to control her dog.
“There is an African-American man, I’m in Central Park. He’s recording me and threatening me and threatening my dog,” she then tells the operator.
The exchange prompted outrage on social media, with users calling the woman a “Karen,” a term popular online to describe an entitled white woman.
She was accused of putting Cooper’s life in danger by trying to manipulate a police system that is regularly accused of brutality against members of the black community.
Cooper was quickly fired from her job at Franklin Templeton, with the investment management company saying it did not tolerate “racism of any kind.”
The video, posted on Twitter, has been watched almost 45 million times.


Afghan vice president vows ‘no mercy’ in violent crime fight

Updated 24 October 2020

Afghan vice president vows ‘no mercy’ in violent crime fight

  • Former spy chief leads campaign after thefts, abductions sweep capital

KABUL: A security campaign spearheaded by Afghanistan Vice President Amrullah Saleh has been launched in Kabul following an outcry among residents over a recent surge in violent crime.

Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Aryan said a mass manhunt began on Friday involving over 20,000 posters and photographs of hundreds of wanted criminals in the capital.

“These people have been involved in numerous crimes such as theft, armed robbery, abductions and killings and we are urging citizens to inform the police of their whereabouts,” he told Arab News.

Aryan said that Saleh’s extensive security experience as the country’s former spy chief will help him bring the situation under control.

When he assumed the new role last week, Saleh said in a Facebook post that he would take responsibility for security in the city and would show “no mercy” to criminals.

The vice president’s new security role comes after the Taliban distributed leaflets in parts of Kabul, promising citizens that they would patrol and arrest criminals, and sentence them in their own courts.

The recent spike in crime has also pushed residents to launch a social media campaign using the hashtag #Kabulisnotsafe. Some demanded severe punishment, such as dismemberment for robbery, which was imposed under Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001 and led to a fall in crime figures.

Fawzia Nasiryar, a lawmaker from Kabul, said she and other legislators have received complaints from constituents over surging crime. Muggings and violent robberies even occur in broad daylight, she added.

Several attacks have led to deaths, she said.

Criminals have also targeted vulnerable groups, including children. Earlier this month thieves entered a high school to rob students, Nasiryar said.

“We hope that the vice president’s efforts will produce results and we witness a drop in the number of crimes,” she told Arab News, but added that it will be difficult to keep crime at bay when the war-torn country’s economy is so poor.

“As long as the economy is bad and there is joblessness, we won’t see improvement in the situation. Sadly, in a society where one person is rich out of 100 people, you will naturally see a rise in crimes.”

However, the increasing crime rate has also disrupted economic activity.

Jan Aqa Naweed, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s Chambers of Commerce, told Arab News that surging crime in recent years has prompted hundreds of Afghan businessmen to leave the country, taking their capital and investments with them.

Some analysts argue that the vice president’s intervention is a mere public relations effort and will fail to achieve a lasting impact.

Wahidullah Ghazikhail said the security campaign only seeks to address public anger.

“This will have a temporary impact and is aimed at calming down the anger and sentiments of people,” he said.