Amy Cooper, the white woman who called 911 after a run-in with a Black man while walking her dog in Central Park last year, has filed a racial and gender discrimination lawsuit against her former employer. The complaint was filed in federal court in New York on Tuesday, exactly a year after Amy Cooper was caught on cellphone video arguing with birdwatcher Christian Cooper, during which she falsely told police that a “African American man” was threatening her and her dog.
The video of the incident quickly went viral on social media, causing outrage. Amy Cooper was fired the next day from her job at the Franklin Templeton investment firm. The company said in a statement that Amy Cooper was fired immediately following a “internal review” of the incident and that “we do not tolerate racism of any kind.”
Amy Cooper was “characterized as a privileged white female ‘Karen'” as a result of the company’s public statements, according to the lawsuit, and the company did not conduct an investigation into the incident, as publicly stated, and did not speak with Christian Cooper or obtain the full 911 calls.
“Even a cursory investigation would have revealed that Plaintiff did not yell at Christian Cooper or call the cops from Central Park on May 25, 2020 because she was a racist; she did these things because she was alone in the park and terrified to death after being chosen as the next target of Christian Cooper, an overzealous birdwatcher engaged in Central Park’s ongoing feud between birdwatchers.”
The argument arose after Christian Cooper asked Amy Cooper to leash her dog, which was running free in a section of the park known as the Ramble where it is not permitted. According to the lawsuit, Franklin Templeton “perpetuated and legitimized the story of ‘Karen’ vs. an innocent African American to its perceived advantage, with reckless disregard for the destruction of Plaintiff’s life in the process,” and claims that the company would not have fired her if she were a different race and gender.
It also claims Amy Cooper suffered “severe emotional distress” as a result of the company’s actions and that she was suicidal. The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages for lost wages, bonuses, 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.
“We believe the facts of the situation speak for themselves, and that the Company acted appropriately,” a spokesperson said. “We will fight these baseless claims.”
“It was unacceptable, and I humbly and completely apologize to everyone who saw that video, everyone who was offended, everyone who thinks of me negatively. And I can see why they do “She stated.
“I’m not a bigot. I had no intention of hurting that man in any way “She continued. “I believe I was simply terrified. When you’re alone in the Ramble, you have no idea what’s going on. It’s not justifiable, and it’s not defendable.”
In an interview, Christian Cooper accepted her apology but stated that the incident was part of a much larger problem of racism in the United States that needed to be addressed. Amy Cooper was charged in July with third-degree false reporting of an incident. The charge was eventually dropped earlier this year after she completed a counseling program designed to educate her on the consequences of her actions.