Amy Cooper, who was fired by the investment management company she worked for after she called 911 on a Black birdwatcher in Central Park last year, is now suing that company. She claims the firm, Franklin Templeton, terminated her employment based on race and gender, NBC News reports. Her lawsuit also claims the company did not truly investigate the Central Park situation, nor did it consider her own fear for her safety, before firing her. While the company said it was launching a probe, Cooper claims she was never contacted about one, the New York Daily News reports. "We believe the circumstances of the situation speak for themselves and that the Company responded appropriately," the firm says in a statement calling Cooper's lawsuit "baseless."
The suit also takes a shot at Christian Cooper (no relation to Amy), the birdwatcher in question, calling him "an overzealous birdwatcher engaged in Central Park’s ongoing feud between birdwatchers and dog owners" and saying that if her former employer had probed the incident, it would have discovered Amy Cooper was not acting on racist instincts but was rather "alone in the park and frightened to death." Christian Cooper has not commented publicly on the lawsuit, but he has said in the past that he often asks dog owners to leash their dogs while in the area of the park known as the Ramble, so the area's environment and wildlife can be preserved. Leashes are required there, and Amy Cooper's dog was unleashed, CNN reports. "Franklin Templeton perpetuated and legitimized the story of ‘Karen’ vs. an innocent African American to its perceived advantage, with reckless disregard for the destruction of Plaintiff’s life in the process," the suit claims. (Read more lawsuit stories.)