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‘White Fragility Having a Baby’: Amy Cooper Wants Former Employer to Pay Because They ‘Falsely’ Branded Her a Racist After She Called Police on Black Birdwatcher Claiming She Was Being Attacked

Amy Cooper, the white woman captured making false allegations to police about a Black birdwatcher in New York’s Central Park last year, filed a lawsuit against her former employer on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported.

Cooper filed the complaint against investment management company Franklin Templeton on May 25, alleging the company terminated her because of her race and gender and characterized her as “racist” without conducting a thorough investigation, which resulted in a loss of earnings and severe emotional distress.

The suit was filed by Cooper in the Southern District of New York exactly one year after Christian Cooper filmed her calling 911 and telling the operator she was being attacked by an “African-American man.”

Christian Cooper, Amy Cooper (CBS News Interview Screengrab)

After Mr. Cooper asked Ms. Cooper to leash her dog in accordance with park rules, she called the police and continued to make false allegations as Mr. Cooper, a New York-based writer, editor, and Harvard graduate, stood by at a distance. Footage of the Memorial Day weekend encounter was viewed millions of times.

When officers arrived, Ms. Cooper told them that her complaint was false and that she had not been harmed by Mr. Cooper.

Ms. Cooper apologized for the incident and was fired by Franklin Templeton the next day. “Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately,” Franklin Templeton said in a statement. “We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton.”

She told CNN at the time, “I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way. I think I was just scared. When you’re alone in The Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.”

In the complaint filed on Tuesday, Ms. Cooper alleged that the firm fed into the “Karen” narrative without a thorough investigation.

“Even a perfunctory investigation” would have shown that Ms. Cooper didn’t yell at Mr. Cooper “because she was a racist,” but because “she was alone in the park and frightened to death.” The complaint also characterizes Mr. Cooper as “an overzealous birdwatcher engaged in Central Park’s ongoing feud between birdwatchers and dog owners.”

According to the suit, the firm didn’t access the full transcripts for the 911 calls Cooper made that day, which would have shown that she made the calls out of fear.

In addition, the company did not review a comment at a previous New York City Park Board meeting that “it has gotten ugly between birders and unleashed dog walkers,” the suit alleges.

The suit also claimed the firm failed to interview Jerome Lockett, a Black man who said last year that Mr. Cooper had yelled at a group of people in their park to leash their dogs.

Mr. Cooper told NBC News last year that he tries to get people to leash their dogs in order to maintain the park’s environment and wildlife.

On social media, people reacted to the news of the legal claim. One user wrote, “Thank you Amy Cooper for proving once again that you are exactly the person we thought you were.” Another added, “Amy Cooper is STILL a shitty person. She’s suing her former employer for firing her after this Central Park video went viral for “discrimination.” UNREAL.”

Franklin Templeton said in a statement in response to the suit that it responded appropriately to the incident and called the allegations in the suit “baseless.”

“We believe the circumstances of the situation speak for themselves and that the Company responded appropriately,” it stated. “We will defend against these baseless claims.”

Ms. Cooper faced a misdemeanor crime of false reporting but the charge was dropped at the request of Assistant DA Joan Illuzzi, who was told Cooper “learned a lot” in the racial equity courses she had taken.

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