Amy Cooper, who came to be known across social media as “Central Park Karen” after she called 911 and lied about being threatened by a Black bird watcher in Central Park last year, is suing her former employer Franklin Templeton for firing her after the incident.
According to Bloomberg, Cooper claims the May 25, 2020 incident was spurred on by her fear of the birder, Christian Cooper, who she says has a history of “aggressively confronting” people for not leashing their dogs. This, Amy Cooper claims, caused her “to reasonably fear” for the safety of herself and her pet.
A lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court by Amy Cooper claims she was characterized as “racist” by Franklin Templeton and that they publicized the incident on Twitter and fired her after falsely claiming the company conducted an investigation.
In an email to Bloomberg, Franklin Templeton called the lawsuit “baseless” and said they would fight it.
Amy Cooper claims in the suit the investment company only interviewed her in the immediate aftermath while she was still “palpably distraught and fearful of her safety,” and did not interview Christian Cooper or anyone else he may have come in contact with in the park.
The publicity, Cooper claims, spurred “countless phone calls” and text messages from people who sought to threaten and harass her. As a result, she says she’s suffered extreme emotional distress and her “personal and professional life has been destroyed.”
Amy Cooper is seeking back pay, a lost bonus, loss of unvested funds and other benefits, reinstatement or front pay, compensatory damages for emotional distress, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees and costs.