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.


Philippine president to make UN General Assembly debut

Updated 22 September 2020

Philippine president to make UN General Assembly debut

  • Duterte is one of the speakers on the first day of the high-level general debate, which ends on Sept. 26

MANILA: For the first time since he became president four years ago, the Philippines’ tough-talking leader Rodrigo Duterte will take part in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday.

The meeting will be virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“This will be the president’s first time to address the UN General Assembly,” Robert Borje, chief of presidential protocol, told a press briefing on Monday, saying that this year’s meeting was of historic significance as it marked the UN’s 75th anniversary.

Duterte is one of the speakers on the first day of the high-level general debate, which ends on Sept. 26.

He is expected to talk about the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, peace and security, human rights, and geopolitical developments in Asia-Pacific, as well as other issues.

Duterte’s participation in the event is significant, mainly because he had threatened to pull the Philippines out of the UN in the early days of his presidency after facing criticism over his bloody war on drugs. He later backtracked, saying that he was “only joking.”

The theme for this year’s UNGA session is: “The future we want, the United Nations we need: Reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism — confronting COVID-19 through effective multilateral action.”

Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozker, who is president of the 75th UNGA, will preside over the meeting. Brazil is the first speaker, followed by the US, Turkey, China, Chile, South Africa, Cuba, the Russian Federation, Jordan, South Korea, Qatar, Philippines, Iran and France.

Borje was asked what had made Duterte decide to take part. He replied that the president’s participation had always been considered since the beginning of his term.

“But of course this year takes on special significance because it’s the 75th anniversary. But more than just that, the milestone landmark … It’s the intensity and the urgency needed to address global issues. The president recognizes that the Philippines cannot do it alone, and the United Nations is the world’s biggest platform where one country can articulate a country’s principled position on many items and many issues. And this is why he decided to join the UN General Assembly high-level debate this month.”

The world can expect to hear the president articulate the country’s positions on a range of issues — including his controversial war on drugs. 

“Yes,” said Borje. “That will be part of the president’s speech. He will address issues on human rights and justice.”

Duterte is also expected to raise the issue of the Philippines’ claims in the West Philippine Sea as his speech will also touch on peace and security, including terrorism.

The Philippines was one of the founding members of the UN, signing the UN Declaration in 1942.