“This is how the system was designed to function — to protect the privileged from accountability,” she said.
Mr. Cooper has been reluctant to speak about Ms. Cooper, for whom he has shown a measure of compassion. In an interview with The New York Times shortly after the encounter, Mr. Cooper said that while he was not excusing Ms. Cooper’s racism, “I don’t know if her life needed to be torn apart.”
Asked about the dismissal of the charge, Mr. Cooper said there were more important issues for people concerned about racial justice to take on, like the battle to make Washington, D.C., a state.
“I am far more outraged by the U.S. Congress, which continues to deny the mostly Black and brown people of the District of Columbia statehood, and the representation every American deserves, than by anything Amy Cooper did,” he said. “That gross racial injustice could be fixed by Congress now, today, and that is what people should be focused on, not last year’s events in Central Park.”
The encounter between Mr. Cooper and Ms. Cooper began when Mr. Cooper, who frequently goes bird-watching in Central Park, encountered Ms. Cooper, who had neglected to leash her dog as is required in most sections of the park.
Mr. Cooper asked Ms. Cooper to leash her dog and began recording her on his cellphone. She became agitated, and, dragging her dog by its collar behind her, demanded that he stop filming her. She told him that she intended to call the police and to tell them, “There’s an African-American man threatening my life.”
When Mr. Cooper held his ground, she made good on her promise. On the phone call, she mentioned multiple times that Mr. Cooper was Black.