Woman fired over 'racist' Central Park confrontation sues former employer

A video showing a white woman calling New York City police alleging that a black man was threatening her in Central Park after he asked her to put her dog on a leash has gone viral

A video showing a white woman calling New York City police alleging that a black man was threatening her in Central Park after he asked her to put her dog on a leash has gone viral

Amy Cooper was sacked from her job amid the fallout of her Central Park confrontation.

In the Manhattan federal suit, Amy Cooper accuses her former employer, Franklin Templeton, of perpetuating her image as a "privileged white female "Karen" by making public statements that it had fired her after conducting an investigation into the incident. Following Cooper's termination, Franklin Templeton CEO Jenny Johnson told Fortune Magazine that the company executives "espouse zero tolerance for racism".

Amy Cooper maintains in the suit that she called the police out of fear for her safety and that of her dog, and that the call was not racially motivated.

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.

"We believe the circumstances of the situation speak for themselves and that the company responded appropriately", spokesperson Stacey Coleman said in an emailed statement.

But the incident from Monday, May 25, 2020, had been seen by millions on the internet within hours of being posted, with many dubbing Amy Cooper the "Central Park Karen".

Cooper has chose to sue her employer for this and has filed a complaint in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday.

A white woman who had falsely accused a Black man of threatening her is now suing her employer for dismissing her from the job.

Prompted by Christian Cooper's request to put her dog on a leash in the Ramble (a section of the park in which unleashed dogs are not permitted), Amy Cooper's outburst in the New York City park was captured in a viral video, first published on May 25, 2020.

Had the company obtained a record of the New York City Park Board Meetings from prior to the incident, the suit claims, it would have shown that Christian Cooper had previously gotten into an altercation with another dog walker while he was birdwatching in the park, according to the suit.

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Franklin Templeton characterized the lawsuit's claims as "baseless" in a statement Wednesday and plans to defend itself.

"We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton", the statement on Twitter continued.

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". The charge was dropped in February by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office after Cooper completed five "psychoeducation and therapy" sessions as part of its restorative justice program.

Following the incident, Ms Cooper apologized, though then as now, she downplayed the racist dynamics at play in the incident.

Cooper alleges in Tuesday's suit that no such internal review took place.

Amy added that the consequences of the incident have left her in emotional distress as her "personal and professional life has been destroyed".

In July, Amy Cooper was charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.

They both told CNN their dispute began because her dog was not on a leash, contrary to the Ramble's rules.

The lawsuit is seeking damages for loss of wages, bonus and unvested funds as well as emotional distress damages for alleged racial and gender discrimination, defamation and negligence, among other counts, in an amount to be determined at trial.

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