'Central Park Karen' Sues Former Employer for Racial Discrimination

Elias Hubbard
May 27, 2021

Amy Cooper - the white woman branded Central Park Karen after calling the police on a Black birdwatcher, Christian Cooper, a year ago - is suing her employer for false dismissal, due to the so-called "discrimination" she faces as a white woman.

Cooper, who had been working as a portfolio manager at the investment firm until she was sacked in the backlash to the call, accused the company of discrimination, saying an investigation would have been done if she were not a white woman.

Franklin Templeton responded to Amy's lawsuit by writing in an email, "We believe the circumstances of the situation speak for themselves and that the Company responded appropriately".

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY, claims that Franklin Templeton, where Cooper worked as a portfolio manager, publicly lied about conducting an internal investigation into the incident, and instead engaged in a coordinated effort to depict her as a racist with "reckless disregard for the destruction of [her] life".

Franklin Templeton, part of Franklin Resources Inc, said it would defend against Cooper's "baseless" claims, including against Chief Executive Jenny Johnson.

She said in the lawsuit it wasn't racism that led her to call police but fear, because she was alone and being "aggressively" confronted, and that the company would have known that with an investigation.

The complaint, obtained by Reuters, adds that the company's actions - which are also said to include defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence - "caused her such severe emotional distress that she was suicidal".

Lawyers for Cooper declined to comment.

Christian Cooper posted video on social media at the time telling her to go to another section of the park.

Cooper's May 25, 2020 dispute with the bird-watcher Christian Cooper, who is not related to her, drew wide attention after a video surfaced of her calling the police and saying "there's an African-American man threatening my life".

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office in February dropped a misdemeanor charge against Cooper after she completed education and therapy classes on racial equity.

Cooper had worked for the company in NY since 2015, and said she received "countless" phone and text threats after its phone system gave callers her cellphone number.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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