Court Battles

Woman who called the police on Black birdwatcher sues former employer

A woman who called the police on a Black birdwatcher in New York City’s Central Park is suing her former employer, claiming it unfairly fired her over the incident, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The woman, Amy Cooper, in legal filings to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday said that her former company, Franklin Templeton, didn’t conduct an investigation before firing her, though it said that it did.

She also alleges that Franklin Templeton didn’t try to obtain any of the 911 calls from the incident that would have shown that she called the police out of fear for herself. 

The company told The Hill in an email Wednesday that it responded appropriately to the allegations against Cooper. 

“We believe the circumstances of the situation speak for themselves and that the Company responded appropriately,” it stated. “We will defend against these baseless claims.”

A viral video of the May 2020 incident showed Cooper having a confrontation with Christian Cooper, who is Black. The two are not related. 

Cooper did not have her dog on a leash when the two encountered each other, and Christian Cooper asked that Amy Cooper put the dog on a leash in a public park, as required by Central Park’s rules. Amy Cooper then was seen on the video calling the police.

The confrontation happened at the height of a resurgence in efforts to bring about racial justice in the United States. 

The Hill has reached out to Franklin Templeton for comment. 

Tags Amy Cooper Franklin Templeton New York New York City
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