Central Park Karen’s Amy Cooper loses lawsuit against former employer

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by Amy Cooper, a white woman who wrongly called 911 in 2020, accusing a black bird watching in Central Park of firing her against her former employer .

Judge Ronnie Abrams of the Southern District of New York on Wednesday dismissed Cooper’s lawsuit alleging that her former employer, Franklin Templeton, discriminated against her based on her race and gender, defamed her and knowingly caused emotional distress.

The investment firm said on social media hours after video of the 2020 incident went viral that it was placing Cooper, who did not name her, on administrative leave while it conducts its investigation. A day later, it announced that the review had resulted in Cooper’s firing, without naming her, but adding that the company “does not tolerate racism of any kind.”

Cooper sued her former employer in 2021, accusing the company of unlawfully firing her without a legitimate internal review and falsely portraying her as racist, while social media users tagged her as ” Central Park Karen”. The lawsuit also argues that she was the victim of racial discrimination.

“Franklin Templeton’s alleged investigation and findings lend legitimacy to ‘Karen”s story and appear to justify those seeking to destroy the plaintiff’s life,” Cooper’s lawsuit states.

A spokeswoman for Franklin Templeton said Wednesday that the company was pleased the judge dismissed the case.

“We remain confident that the company responded appropriately,” Lisa Gallegos, a spokeswoman for Franklin Templeton, told The Washington Post in an email.

Attorneys representing Cooper did not immediately respond when reached by The Washington Post for comment. The Post could not reach Cooper.

Amy Cooper was fired after calling 911 to a black birder. Now she is suing her former employer.

On May 5, 2020, Christian Cooper, unrelated to Amy Cooper, was birdwatching in Central Park when she noticed Amy and her dog, an untethered cocker spaniel, standing Next to the placard, which says all dogs must be kept on a leash, he told The Post in an interview shortly after the incident.

He told The Washington Post that when he approached her early that morning and asked her to leash her pet, she refused. Christian Cooper said he usually brings dog treats and then tries to throw treats at her dog.

When she threatened to call the police, he started recording.

“I’m going to tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life,” she told him, pulling out her phone and calling 911.

Christian Cooper chose to continue recording because he would not be an active participant in his “own dehumanization,” he told the Post.

“Please call the police,” he said in the video. “Please tell them what you want.”

The video quickly garnered millions of views after his sister post It’s on twitter.

The next day, Amy Cooper publicly apologized for her actions, saying she was “emotional and made false assumptions about his intentions” when she should have kept her dog on a leash.

“I am a misbehaving person because I don’t keep my dog ​​on a leash,” she wrote. “I am well aware of the pain caused by false assumptions and insensitive statements about race.  …I hope forty A few seconds of my life will not define me in his eyes.”

A few months later, state prosecutors charged her with false reporting. Criminal charges were later dropped.

On May 5, 2021, Amy Cooper filed a lawsuit alleging that Franklin Templeton “did not conduct any investigation into the incident,” did not interview her and Christian Cooper, and did not attempt to obtain her full 911 call.

The company also failed to take into account her achievements as an “outstanding employee” who received a “high performance bonus” three years in a row, the lawsuit said, slandering and discriminating against her based on her race and gender. This caused the woman to suffer “significant loss of income and benefits” and “significant emotional distress” in the near and long term, the lawsuit said.

Teo Armus, Jaclyn Peiser and Michael Brice-Saddler contributed to this report.

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