Amy Cooper, Central Park Karen, Loses Lawsuit Against Ex-Employer

A federal judge has dismissed a case brought by Amy Cooper, the white woman who in 2020 falsely called 911 about a black man watching birds in Central Park, against her former employer for firing her.

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

The investment firm said on social media hours after video of the 2020 incident went viral that it was placing Cooper, without naming her, on administrative leave while it investigates. A day later, he announced that the review had led to Cooper’s dismissal, also without naming her, but adding that the company “does not tolerate any type of racism”.

Cooper sued her ex-employer in 2021, alleging the company unlawfully fired her without conducting a legitimate internal review and falsely portrayed her as a racist, when she was labeled “Central Park Karen” by users social media for the incident. The suit also argued that she was a victim of racial discrimination.

“Franklin Templeton’s investigation and alleged findings lent legitimacy to the ‘Karen’ story and appeared to provide vindication to those who sought to destroy the plaintiff’s life,” Cooper’s lawsuit asserted.

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

“We continue to believe the company responded appropriately,” Franklin Templeton spokeswoman Lisa Gallegos told The Washington Post in an email.

Lawyers representing Cooper did not immediately respond when contacted by The Post for comment. Cooper could not be reached by The Post.

Amy Cooper was fired after calling 911 on a black bird watcher. Now she is suing her ex-employer.

On May 5, 2020, Christian Cooper – who is not related to Amy Cooper – was birdwatching in Central Park when he noticed Amy and her dog, a raging cocker spaniel, standing right next to a sign that said all dogs must be kept on a leash, he told The Post in an interview shortly after the incident.

When he approached her and asked her to hold her pet early in the morning, she refused, he told the Post. Christian Cooper, who said he usually carries dog treats, then tried to throw a treat at his dog.

He started recording when she threatened to call the police about him.

“I’m going to tell them that an African American man is threatening my life,” she told him as she pulled out her cell phone and dialed 911.

Christian Cooper chose to continue recording because he was not going to become an active player in his “own dehumanization”, he told The Post.

“Please call the cops,” he said on video. “Please tell them what you want.”

The video quickly racked up millions of views after her sister job this on Twitter.

The next day, Amy Cooper publicly apologized for her actions, saying she “reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about her intentions” when she should have leashed her dog.

“I was the one who acted inappropriately by not leashing my dog,” she wrote. “I am well aware of the pain caused by false assumptions and insensitive statements about race. …I hope a few mortifying seconds in a life of forty years won’t define me in his eyes.

State prosecutors charged her with false reports months later. The criminal charges were later dropped.

On May 5, 2o21, Amy Cooper filed a lawsuit alleging Franklin Templeton “did not investigate” the incident, interview her or Christian Cooper, or make any attempt to get her appeal. complete at 911.

The company, according to the lawsuit, also failed to take into consideration her achievements as an “outstanding employee” who won “high-level bonuses” for three consecutive years, defaming her and discriminating against her because of her race and sex. It cost the woman “substantial loss of income and benefits” and “serious emotional distress” in the near and long-term future, according to the lawsuit.

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

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