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.


India PM Modi holds first election rally since COVID-19 outbreak

Updated 23 October 2020

India PM Modi holds first election rally since COVID-19 outbreak

  • Thousands of supporters standing shoulder to shoulder and ignoring social distancing rules attended the rally
  • India has been among the worst hit by the coronavirus, with the second-highest amount of cases globally

MUMBAI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held his first election rally on Friday since the coronavirus took hold in the country in March, drawing thousands of cheering supporters standing shoulder to shoulder and ignoring social distancing rules.
Other politicians including Congress party’s Rahul Gandhi also attended big rallies in the eastern state of Bihar, where local elections start in phases from next week, with many unmasked participants trying to get a glimpse of the leaders.
India has been among the worst hit by the coronavirus, with the second-highest amount of cases globally, and experts worry big gatherings like the political rallies could trigger a fresh spike in cases.
“I want to congratulate the people of Bihar for fighting a disaster like corona so well... the situation in some of the richest countries in the world is not hidden from anyone,” Modi said at the first of the three rallies scheduled in the state.
The 70-year-old, who has himself highlighted the importance of social distancing, took off his mask before addressing a crowd from a high platform.
Bihar, India’s third-most populous state and one of its poorest, has recorded more than 200,000 coronavirus infections, fewer than richer states like Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
India reported 54,366 new cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 7.8 million. It has the highest number of reported infections after the United States but the rise in cases has slowed since reaching a peak on Sept. 17.
A government panel has warned, however, that if precautions like wearing masks and social distancing are not followed around India, cases could spike by up to 2.6 million in just a month.
“There is some evidence that large gatherings cause rapid spread,” the government-appointed panel of scientists, virologists and other experts said earlier this week.
As various states head to elections over the coming months, political groups including Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party have started promising free COVID-19 vaccines.