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Woman sues former employer for termination after calling police on black man in Central Park

Women sues former employer over termination after calling police on a black man in Central Park. 

Amy Cooper was fired last May from her employer, Franklin Templeton, when a video went viral of Amy Cooper calling the police on a black man in Central Park. Now Amy is filing a lawsuit against Franklin Templeton for not conducting a proper investigation into the situation before letting her go. Last May, Amy Cooper was walking her dog off leash in Ramble, a section of Central Park, when a man Christian Cooper (no relation), who describes himself as a birdwatcher, approached Amy to tell her that Ramble rules clearly state that dogs must always be on a leash. Christian claims that he didn’t scream at Amy and “was actually pretty calm,” according to CNN.

According to Christian’s Facebook post, he told her, “Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it.” Amy responded, “What’s that” and Christian Cooper pulled out dog treats that he keeps with him to get dog owners to put a leash on their dogs. He claims that Amy grabbed the dog screaming, “DON’T YOU TOUCH MY DOG!!!!!” and that’s when Christian started to record the encounter on his phone. In the video taken by Christian, Amy Cooper is seen pulling her dog by the collar and asking Christian to stop recording as she approaches him. Christian then tells her to not get close to him and Amy threatens to call the police stating, “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.” 

Amy proceeds to contact police authorities claiming that there is an African American recording and threatening her and her dog. By the end of the video, Amy is frantically telling the 911 operator to “Please send the cops immediately.” In the mist of all the backlash, Franklin Templeton announced on social media that Amy has been placed on administrative leave saying, “We take these matters very seriously, and we do not condone racism of any kind. While we are in the process of investigating the situation, the employee involved has been put on administrative leave.”

In an interview with NBC, Amy claims that she called the police because she thought Christian was going to poison her dog. She also accused Christian of screaming at her which made Amy feel threatened by him. In the same interview, Amy apologized by saying, “It was unacceptable and I humbly and fully apologize to everyone who’s seen that video, everyone that’s been offended…everyone who thinks of me in a lower light and I understand why they do. When I think about the police, I’m such a blessed person. I’ve come to realize especially today that I think of [the police] as a protection agency, and unfortunately, this has caused me to realize that there are so many people in this country that don’t have that luxury.” 

According to a report by Bloomberg, Amy states in the lawsuit that Franklin Templeton portrayed her as being a racist and fired her without a proper investigation into the situation at hand. Amy alleged that Christian has a history of “aggressively confronting” dog owners and that he “similarly initiated the dispute with her in the same aggressive manner while she was walking her dog alone, causing her ‘to reasonably fear’ for the safety of her and her pet.” This is what she claimed was her motive for contacting authorities to the U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday.

Bloomberg also reported Cooper claiming that she was interviewed in the immediate aftermath and was still “distraught and fearful of her safety.” According to Amy, the company never tried to contact Christian Cooper or other dogwalkers he has confronted in the past. Among other things, Amy accused the company of mistreating her due to her gender or race and claimed that the company would’ve acted differently if she wasn’t a white female. The lawsuit is requesting relief in the form of “Back pay and lost bonus: loss of unvested funds and other benefits; reinstatement or front pay; compensatory damages for emotional distress; punitive damages; attorneys’ fees and costs” (Bloomberg). Franklin Templeton released a statement to The Daily Wire on Thursday saying, “We believe the circumstances of the situation speak for themselves and that the Company responded appropriately,” and “We will defend against these baseless claims.”

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ARTICLE: LAURA RAMIREZ 

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: PEOPLE.COM

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