Amy Cooper, the Central Park dog-walker who became infamous for calling 911 on a bird watcher who told her to put her dog on a leash (and narrowly escaped criminal prosecution for that act), has filed a lawsuit against her former employer arguing that by publicly firing her without a proper investigation, the company contributed to her harassment.
Cooper’s lawsuit says she was afraid of the bird-watcher, Chrisitan Cooper, something the investment firm she worked for, Franklin Templeton, would have known if they’d, I guess, tracked down witnesses like Law & Order. Instead they relied on a widely circulated video, in which Cooper appeared to be strangling a cocker spaniel and lying to the police about her life being in danger while a Black man stands silently by before thanking her for finally following park rules and leashing her dog:
“[Franklin Cooper] only interviewed her in the immediate aftermath, when she was still “palpably distraught and fearful of her safety,” Cooper said. And it never spoke or tried to speak with Christian Cooper or any of the other dogwalkers he had previously accosted, she said,” according to Bloomberg Law.
The lawsuit claims that the company’s announcement of her termination spurred harassment from people who managed to gain access to her number via the company’s phone records. Additionally, she alleges that a colleague was named to the board of directors after being incarcerated for domestic violence, an allegation that, to my admittedly non-legal scholar eye seems like its making the case that even if Cooper is a horrible person, there are worse people still working there and thus it is sexist not to allow Cooper continued employment:
“Franklin Templeton would have conducted a proper investigation before firing her if she was of a different race or a different gender, Cooper said.”
Cooper is asking for “Back pay and lost bonus; loss of unvested funds and other benefits; reinstatement or front pay; compensatory damages for emotional distress; punitive damages; attorneys’ fees and costs,” as recompense for the company’s contribution to what she claims was an inaccurate portrayal of herself “as a privileged [w]hite woman.”