Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing state lawmakers to pass a bill amid outrage after a white woman recently called the police to claim she was being threatened by “an African-American man”.
What We Know:
- The “Amy Cooper” bill, first introduced in 2018 and carried by Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn), is expected to pass this week. The proposed law would make it a hate crime when 911 callers make a false accusation based on race, gender, or religion.
- The Democratic governor plans to add the piece of legislation to a list of law enforcement reform he is advocating for. According to Ortiz, violators could face up to one to five years in prison based on current hate crime statutes.
- The legislation gained attention last month when a video went viral showing Amy Cooper, known on social media as “Central Park Karen,” calling 911 on a black man named Christian Cooper. Christian said he asked Amy to put her dog on a leash as required in the Ramble, a secluded section of Central Park popular with birdwatchers, and started filming her as she called police.
- Amy was accused of racism, fired from her job, and temporarily lost custody of her cocker spaniel over the incident.
- Cuomo said widespread protests against police brutality after the death of George Floyd helped push lawmakers to act.
“The bottom line is we should be using better judgement. Racism gets created, and I think that by making false reporting because of gender or religion is completely unacceptable and intolerable.”
A New York City woman has lost her job after a video of her racially-charged confrontation with a black man went viral. The man was birdwatching in Central Park and recorded the encounter.
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) May 27, 2020
The bill was on the list of considerations for the New York state legislature when they returned to work on Monday. It was just one of the measures against police violence that Cuomo voiced his support for. Others included an official ban on chokeholds by law enforcement, reforming a controversial civil rights law in the state of and naming the New York attorney general as an independent prosecutor for cases concerning the deaths of unarmed civilians caused by law enforcement.