A white woman who said she was unfairly fired by her former employer and labeled a racist after calling police on a black bird-watcher in a New York park – prominent social media users called her “Central Park Karen”. “It was agreed. Discrimination lawsuit dismissed
U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by Amy Cooper against investment firm Franklin Templeton, which determined that discrimination based on race and gender, as well as defamation, negligence and intentional acts of emotional distress The allegations of incitement were baseless.
“We are pleased that the court has dismissed the lawsuit. We believe the company has responded appropriately,” a representative for Franklin Templeton said in a statement to HuffPost.
The company announced Cooper’s termination on social media, shortly after a video of his May 2020 encounter with a man named Christian Cooper — with whom he has no affiliation — went viral. He told her to leash her dog in the park, prompting the woman to call 911 and accusing the bird-watcher of threatening her.
“I’m going to tell them that an African American man is in danger of my life,” she said in the video.
Prosecutors, who accused her of filing a false report, said Cooper also made a second 911 call, in which she claimed a black man “tried to assault her in the Ramble area of the park.” Last year a judge agreed to drop criminal charges against him after completing five seasons of an educational program that included instructions about racial bias.
Franklin Templeton immediately placed Cooper on administrative leave before the incident. Tweet That the company had fired him after an internal review.
“We at Franklin Templeton do not tolerate racism of any kind,” it said at the time.
Cooper’s lawsuit accused the company of making defamatory statements against him in that tweet and claimed that an internal investigation had not been conducted.
However, Abrams ruled that merely viewing video of the incident and conducting a discussion within the company would provide a reasonable interpretation of “internal review”.
“The plaintiff may take issue with the adequacy of the defendants’ investigation into the incident, but it does not allege that no investigation was conducted,” the judge said this week.
If anyone speculated that the company was calling Cooper a racist in its tweet, it would be “protected opinion,” according to Abrams.
“It is well established that an allegation of bigotry is a protected statement of opinion rather than a defamatory statement of fact capable of being proved true or false,” she said.
An attorney for Cooper did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on Thursday.