By: Ellen Cans
Amy Cooper, the white woman dubbed “Central Park Karen”, lost a lawsuit against her former employer in which she had tried to prove she was illegally fired and portrayed as a racist.
As reported by the NY Post, in May 2020, Cooper was part of a high-profile incident in which she accused a black bird-watcher of threatening her. After the video went viral, with commenters bashing her for the racist incident, she lost her job. She had been employed since 2015 at Franklin Templeton as an insurance portfolio manager. In May 2021, she filed a lawsuit claiming that Franklin Templeton and its chief executive Jenny Johnson had fired her the day after the incident and had made public statements marring her image as a “privileged white female ‘Karen’”. This Wednesday, US District Judge Ronnie Abrams rejected Cooper’s claim and dismissed the defamation case she had filed. “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,” making the defendants’ statements “inactionable as pure opinion,” Judge Abrams wrote in his decision.
Cooper had been walking her dog in Central Park and had called the police to report an “African American man” who was “threatening” her. A video surfaced of her yelling at Christian Cooper, her alleged attacker who was an avid bird watcher. The video, which sparking social media outrage, was shared by Cooper’s sister, Melody Cooper.
The viral footage shows the masked white female dog walker marching toward the man, repeatedly demanding that he stop filming. “Please don’t come close to me,” replies the repeated voice of the man who doesn’t appear on the camera. In the video, she threatens to call the cops, and he agrees that she can. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she replies. To which he responds, “Please tell them whatever you like”. The video continues to show her calling the police, saying “I’m in the Ramble and an African American man with a bicycle helmet, he is recording me and threatening my dog.”
The video shows her repeating that he is threatening her, and escalating her plea, telling the police: “I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble, please send the cops immediately.” An NYPD spokeswoman confirmed that cops were dispatched to the Ramble, a 36-acre wooded area between 73rd and 78th Streets, at about 8:10 a.m. for a report of an assault. “Upon arrival, police determined two individuals had engaged in a verbal dispute,” Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell said, adding that no arrests or summonses were issued and that “both parties went on their way.”
As per the Post, Melody said that her brother had noticed the dog wasn’t on a leash and had asked the woman to put him on a leash in compliance with the park rules. She said she began filming “because she refused to put her dog on a leash and he sensed she was going to go full on Karen. And she did,” Cooper tweeted, referring to the social media term for women who call the police on black neighbors despite the lack of danger. “As soon as she leashed the dog, he said thank you stopped filming and went about his business. This kind of entitlement dog walking happens weekly in the Ramble,” Cooper had added.