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NY White Woman Amy Cooper is Suing her Former Employer after she was Fired for Calling 911 on a Black Bird Watcher

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Also known as the “Central Park Karen,” Amy Cooper believes the investment management company Franklin Templeton did not properly investigate last year’s viral incident before firing her.

What We Know:

  • In May 2020, a recording of Cooper calling 911 on birdwatcher Christian Cooper surfaced on Christian’s sister’s Twitter. In the video, Amy tells the police that an  “African American man” threatened the lives of her and her dog. However, Christian declared that he approached Amy only to ask her to put her dog on a leash. Christian recorded the 911 call because he did not want to “dehumanize” himself by succumbing to racial intimidation.

  • After the experience became viral, Amy automatically apologized for her actions and reassured the public that she “was not a racist.” However, her vindications did not sway her employer; a day after the incident, Franklin Templeton tweeted they would terminate Amy’s employment.

  • The federal complaint, which Amy filed on Tuesday, alleges that Franklin Templeton’s decision not to investigate the matter, as well as its tweet thoroughly, added fuel to her “Karen” reputation. The business chose not to obtain 911 transcripts and did not review minutes from New York City Park Board meetings which catch Christian on record saying, “it has gotten ugly between birders and unleashed dog walkers.”
  • In addition, the lawsuit claims that “even a perfunctory investigation” would prove she only shouted at Christian because she was alone and frightened. The legal action includes a statement given by Jerome Lockett, another dog owner with who Christian interacted. Lockett says Christian yelled at a group for not leashing their dogs; at one point, he even tried to call Lockett’s dog to come over him.
  • Franklin Templeton never sought to interview Lockett or anyone familiar with Christian’s behavior to achieve multiple perspectives. The suit asserts these insights would confirm Christian selected Amy as “the next dog owner he would attack” and also justify her fears.

In response, Franklin Templeton called her assertions “baseless” and announced it would defend itself when the court date arrives.

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Alex Haynes is Editor-At-Large/NYC Editor at Urban Newsroom, Executive Editor at UNR's Black Alerts and the host of Boss Mornings and Unmuted Nation. Alex joined Urban Newsroom in 2010 and contributes regular op-ed and editorial pieces while advising the columnist and contributing staff.

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