Amy Cooper, the white dog-walking Manhattan woman who previous year went viral after being filmed calling 911 on a Black birdwatcher in Central Park, filed a lawsuit against her former employer, alleging the company discriminated against her because of her race.
Although Franklin Templeton didn't name Amy Cooper in its statements, she claims in her lawsuit that she was so well known by this point that the company's decision effectively labeled her a racist "with reckless disregard for the destruction of Plaintiff's life in the process". "He's recording me and threatening me and my dog", she told the emergency dispatcher.
"Even a perfunctory investigation would have shown that Plaintiff did not shout at Christian Cooper or call the police from Central Park on May 25, 2020 because she was a racist - she did these things because she was alone in the park and frightened to death after being selected as the next target of Christian Cooper, an overzealous birdwatcher engaged in Central Park's ongoing feud between birdwatchers and dog owners", the complaint stated.
Video of Amy Cooper calling the police Monday on a man has gone viral on social media. Christian Cooper, an avid birdwatcher, was in a wooded area of the park at around 7:30 a.m., when he saw Amy Cooper's dog unleashed and running around. Amy Cooper, the white woman who called 911 on Black birdwatcher Christian Cooper in the park, is suing her former employer for firing her over the incident.
Amy Cooper alleges in her lawsuit that Franklin Templeton failed to launch a legitimate investigation into the matter and its public statement added legitimacy to the "Karen" narrative.
"We believe the circumstances of the situation speak for themselves", the statement said.
© Christian Cooper via AP, FILE In this May 25, 2020 file photo, made from video provided by Christian Cooper, Amy Cooper talks with Christian Cooper in Central Park in NY. The next day, the company said that it had fired her. Her lawsuit claims her employer discriminated against because of her race and gender.
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Franklin Templeton characterized the lawsuit's claims as "baseless" in a statement Wednesday and plans to defend itself. "I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life".
"Ms. Cooper's therapist reported that it was a moving experience and that Ms. Cooper learned a lot in their sessions together, " a prosecutor told the judge at the time. It said it had completed an internal review and chose to terminate her, effective immediately. Hours after the video went online, Franklin Templeton posted a statement on Twitter condemning racism and saying she had been suspended while the firm investigated.
The lawsuit alleges that Franklin Templeton "did not seek to interview Jerome Lockett or anyone else familiar with Mr. Cooper's past in Central Park to obtain their perspective".
"Considering that Amy Cooper has already lost her job and her reputation, it's hard to see what is to be gained by a criminal charge, aside from the upholding of principle", he wrote.
It also claims the company's actions caused Amy Cooper to suffer "severe emotional distress" and that she was suicidal.
She is seeking "back pay and bonus, loss of unvested funds and other benefits, front pay or reinstatements, emotional distress damages, attorneys' fees and costs, and interest and punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial".