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Woman in Central Park confrontation loses case against former employer

Franklin Templeton

A federal district court in New York on Wednesday dismissed the race and sex discrimination and defamation charges filed by Amy Cooper against her former employer, Franklin Templeton, in the wake of her widely circulated confrontation with a Black birdwatcher in Central Park.

Ms. Cooper’s May 2020 confrontation with Christian Cooper, during which she placed a 911 call and told police an African American man was threatening her life, went viral, garnering millions of views, and led to Ms. Cooper being referred to as “Central Park Karen,” according to the ruling by the U.S. District Court in New York in Amy Cooper v. Franklin Templeton et al.

That night, Franklin Templeton, where Ms. Cooper was a portfolio manager, said on Twitter it was investigating the situation and had put Ms. Cooper on administrative leave. It announced the next day on Twitter that she had been terminated, stating, “We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton.”

“None of Franklin Templeton’s public statements made any mention of Plaintiff’s race,” the ruling said, in dismissing Ms. Cooper’s race discrimination claim.

In addition, Ms. Cooper had not plausibly alleged that three males with whom she compared her situation, one of whom is nonwhite, were treated more favorably, the court said, in dismissing the case.

Franklin Templeton said in a statement, “We are pleased that the court has dismissed the lawsuit. We continue to believe the company responded appropriately.”

Ms. Cooper’s attorneys did not respond to a request for comment.