Last May, Amy Cooper, dubbed online as “Central Park Karen,” made headlines after a video showed her calling the police falsely claiming a Black man was threatening her. The video went viral, and ultimately led to her employer at the time, Franklin Templeton, to firing her. Now, Cooper is suing.
According to a report by CNN, Cooper filed a suit against the financial firm on Tuesday (May 25) in Manhattan federal court, a year after the incident. The suit names the firm’s CEO Jenny Johnson and other unnamed employees who Cooper alleges unfairly categorized her actions as racially-motivated –– which she continues to deny. Cooper also called out the firm for publicizing the incident on social media and says the company lied about conducting an investigation of the incident.
A spokesperson for Franklin Templeton, Stacey Coleman, told CNN in a statement that the company still stands by Cooper’s termination. “We believe the circumstances of the situation speak for themselves and that the company responded appropriately,” Coleman said.
Amy Cooper was fired the day after she called the police on Christian Cooper (no relation), a Black man who was bird watching in a section of Central Park called the Ramble. According to their accounts, Christian Cooper asked Amy to put a leash on her dog, as it’s against the rules for dogs to be unleashed in the Ramble.
“I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” Cooper said in the video. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.” The incident sparked immediate backlash online and came just hours before the world saw the video of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis.
Cooper’s call to the police was seen as yet another instance in which white people called the police on Black people for unnecessary reasons.
In her suit, Cooper is seeking to get lost pay and emotional and punitive damages, the amount of which is “to be determined at trial.”
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