A woman walking her dog who called the police during a videotaped dispute with a black man in Central Park was charged Monday with filing a false report.

In May, Amy Cooper drew widespread condemnation for calling 911 to report she was being threatened by "an African-American man" when bird watcher Christian Cooper appeared to keep his distance as he recorded her rant on his phone.

District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement on Monday that his office had charged Amy Cooper with falsely reporting the confrontation, a misdemeanour. She was ordered to appear in court on October 14.

After the backlash, Amy Cooper released an apology through a public relations service, saying she "reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions".

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"He had every right to request that I leash my dog in an area where it was required," she said in the written statement.

"I am well aware of the pain that misassumptions and insensitive statements about race cause and would never have imagined that I would be involved in the type of incident that occurred with Chris."

A widely watched video — posted on Facebook by Christian Cooper and on Twitter by his sister — sparked accusations of racism.

The confrontation began early one Monday morning when Christian Cooper said he noticed Amy Cooper had let her cocker spaniel off its leash against the rules in the Ramble, a secluded section of Central Park popular with birdwatchers.

In a Facebook post, he claimed the dog was "tearing through the plantings" and told her she should go to another part of the park. When she refused, he pulled out dog treats, causing her to scream at him to not come near her dog.

Amy Cooper called police to claim she was being threatened by an 'African American man'. Photo / supplied
Amy Cooper called police to claim she was being threatened by an 'African American man'. Photo / supplied

Amy Cooper also warned him she would summon police unless he stopped recording.

"I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life," Amy Cooper is heard saying in the video as she pulls down her face mask and struggles to control her dog.

"Please call the cops," Christian Cooper says.

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"There's an African American man, I'm in Central Park, he is recording me and threatening myself and my dog. Please send the cops immediately!" she says during the call before he stops recording.

Police said by the time they responded, the pair were both gone.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the video exemplified hatred that has "no place in our city".

"The video out of Central Park is racism, plain and simple," de Blasio tweeted. "She called the police BECAUSE he was a black man. Even though she was the one breaking the rules. She decided he was the criminal and we know why."

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- AP