Woman who called cops on Black man loses lawsuit against former employer who fired her

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By Asiya Ali

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A woman who called the police on a Black birdwatcher in New York City's Central Park has lost her lawsuit against her former employer.

In 2020, a video emerged online of Amy Cooper calling 911 on Christian Cooper (not related) and saying "there's an African-American man threatening my life" after Christian asked her to put her dog on a leash and comply with park rules.

A day later, after the footage went viral on social media, Amy was fired from the investment firm Franklin Templeton. At the time, the firm shared a statement saying that they "do not tolerate racism of any kind" at the workplace.

In May 2021, Amy filed a suit against her former employer and alleged that she was fired on basis of race and sex and that her termination caused her emotional distress. However, now US District Judge Ronnie Abrams dismissed her claims.

Watch the video of the incident below:

The judge rejected the former employee's claims of racial discrimination in a 17-page ruling on September 21 and said that Franklin Templeton never mentioned her race in any of their statements, but made "condemnations of racism".

In addition to this, Amy claimed that her workplace treated her differently due to her gender and held her to a double standard at her job.

She said that her male co-workers were not fired after allegedly engaging in misconduct ranging from insider trading to domestic violence. However, Abrams ruled that her case wasn't similar enough to prove bias.

"The misconduct that Plaintiff's proposed comparators allegedly engaged in - which runs the gamut from plagiarism to insider trading to a felony conviction - is simply too different in kind to be comparable to her conduct in this case," the judge said.

Also, Amy argued that her former employer did not examine the incident such as reviewing the 911 call she made or investigating Christian's previous encounters with dog owners before firing her.

However, the judge said the workplace's statements about her, such as its tweet about "not tolerating racism" didn't meet the requirement for defamation because the comments didn't suggest they knew anything more than the viral video.

"The incident received heightened media and public scrutiny, in particular, because it took place 'in the midst of a national reckoning about systemic racism,'" the judge wrote, adding that the incident happened on the same day as George Floyd's murder.

"The contents of the viral video, as well as the dialogue surrounding it both in the media and on social media, were already matters of public knowledge when [Franklin Templeton's] May 26 tweet was posted," she explained.

Franklin Templeton also shared a statement to CBS MoneyWatch after the court ruling and said: "We are pleased that the court has dismissed the lawsuit. We continue to believe the company responded appropriately."

Featured image credit: Mark Strozier / Alamy

Woman who called cops on Black man loses lawsuit against former employer who fired her

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

A woman who called the police on a Black birdwatcher in New York City's Central Park has lost her lawsuit against her former employer.

In 2020, a video emerged online of Amy Cooper calling 911 on Christian Cooper (not related) and saying "there's an African-American man threatening my life" after Christian asked her to put her dog on a leash and comply with park rules.

A day later, after the footage went viral on social media, Amy was fired from the investment firm Franklin Templeton. At the time, the firm shared a statement saying that they "do not tolerate racism of any kind" at the workplace.

In May 2021, Amy filed a suit against her former employer and alleged that she was fired on basis of race and sex and that her termination caused her emotional distress. However, now US District Judge Ronnie Abrams dismissed her claims.

Watch the video of the incident below:

The judge rejected the former employee's claims of racial discrimination in a 17-page ruling on September 21 and said that Franklin Templeton never mentioned her race in any of their statements, but made "condemnations of racism".

In addition to this, Amy claimed that her workplace treated her differently due to her gender and held her to a double standard at her job.

She said that her male co-workers were not fired after allegedly engaging in misconduct ranging from insider trading to domestic violence. However, Abrams ruled that her case wasn't similar enough to prove bias.

"The misconduct that Plaintiff's proposed comparators allegedly engaged in - which runs the gamut from plagiarism to insider trading to a felony conviction - is simply too different in kind to be comparable to her conduct in this case," the judge said.

Also, Amy argued that her former employer did not examine the incident such as reviewing the 911 call she made or investigating Christian's previous encounters with dog owners before firing her.

However, the judge said the workplace's statements about her, such as its tweet about "not tolerating racism" didn't meet the requirement for defamation because the comments didn't suggest they knew anything more than the viral video.

"The incident received heightened media and public scrutiny, in particular, because it took place 'in the midst of a national reckoning about systemic racism,'" the judge wrote, adding that the incident happened on the same day as George Floyd's murder.

"The contents of the viral video, as well as the dialogue surrounding it both in the media and on social media, were already matters of public knowledge when [Franklin Templeton's] May 26 tweet was posted," she explained.

Franklin Templeton also shared a statement to CBS MoneyWatch after the court ruling and said: "We are pleased that the court has dismissed the lawsuit. We continue to believe the company responded appropriately."

Featured image credit: Mark Strozier / Alamy