In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Cooper declined to answer specific questions about the second 911 call or about Ms. Cooper’s potential plea deal. The encounter in Central Park was “not about Amy Cooper,” he said, but about a larger societal problem.
“My response is very simple: We have to make sure we don’t get distracted,” Mr. Cooper said. “We have a very important goal — and we have to stay focused on it — which is reforming policing, getting systemic change to the structural racism in our society.”
Weeks after the confrontation, New York State lawmakers approved legislation entitling people to “a private right of action” if they believed that someone called the police on them because of their race, gender, nationality or any other protected class. The move was a direct response to the Central Park run-in and other false reports to the police about Black people.
The clash between Mr. Cooper and Ms. Cooper began as he biked to search for birds in a semi-wild section of the park known as the Ramble, where dogs must be leashed. He encountered Ms. Cooper, walking with an unleashed dog, and said in a Facebook post that she refused to put a leash on the dog when asked.
He wrote that he offered the dog treats in an effort to persuade Ms. Cooper to follow the area’s rules. Then, video captures her calling 911 and telling an operator, “I’m in the Ramble, there is a man, African-American. He has a bicycle helmet and he is recording me and threatening me and my dog.”
One day after the incident, Ms. Cooper issued a public apology.
“I reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions when, in fact, I was the one who was acting inappropriately by not having my dog on a leash,” Ms. Cooper said in the statement. “I am well aware of the pain that misassumptions and insensitive statements about race cause.”
Sarah Maslin Nir and Jan Ransom contributed reporting.
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