The woman dubbed “Central Park Karen” for calling the cops on a Black bird-watcher back in 2020 has lost a defamation lawsuit against her former employer, after claiming she was illegally terminated and portrayed as a racist.
On Wednesday, US District Judge Ronnie Abrams rejected Amy Cooper’s lawsuit, wherein she said she was defaced by ex-employer Franklin Templeton, who fired her a day after video of her confrontation went viral, the New York Post reports.
Cooper had claimed that the company and its chief executive officer, Jenny Johnson, exacerbated the situation by making public statements about her termination, furthering the perception of her as a “privileged white female ‘Karen.’”
“Central Park Karen” Went Viral In 2020 After Erroneously Calling Cops On Black Man In Central Park
The 41-year-old went viral in May of 2020 after video of her yelling at bird-watcher Christian Cooper appeared on social media.
In the video, Amy Cooper can be heard calling police claiming an “African-American man” was “threatening” her while she walked her dog in Central Park.
Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Bramble in NY’s Central Park, where it is clearly posted on signs that dogs MUST be leashed at all times, and someone like my brother (an avid birder) politely asks her to put her dog on the leash. pic.twitter.com/3YnzuATsDm
— Melody Cooper (@melodyMcooper) May 25, 2020
The lawsuit, which was filed a year after the incident in May 2021, argues that the dispute between her and Cooper had nothing to do with race, but rather claimed the “overzealous birdwatcher” “targeted” her amidst a feud between bird-watchers and dog walkers in the park, according to the Post.
Christian’s sister, Melody Cooper, who posted the video, pointed out in the tweet that if anything, Amy was the one breaking the law as she didn’t have a leash on her dog while at Central Park’s famous Ramble, alongside trying to file a false police report.
She was indeed charged in July 2020 with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, but it was ultimately dropped by prosecutors after she attended therapy sessions on racial bias.
“Central Park Karen” Accused Former Employer Of Furthering Public Perception Of Racism
However, she still lost her job as an insurance portfolio manager for the holding company, where she had worked since 2015.
— Law & Crime (@lawcrimenews) October 14, 2020
In her lawsuit, Cooper claimed that her former employer’s tweet, which received over 200,000 likes on Twitter, had implied the company had discovered proof of her alleged racism independent from the evidence in the viral video, however Judge Abrams disagreed.
“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,” rendering the defendants’ statements “inactionable as pure opinion,” Abrams wrote in his decision.
Apology Fell On Deaf Ears As Incident Occurred Same Day As Murder of George Floyd
Cooper had publicly apologized following the incident, however public sentiment had already turned against her once the video went viral.
— Kendall Rae (@KendallRaeOnYT) May 26, 2020
“There is an African American man—I am in Central Park—he is recording me and threatening myself and my dog. Please send the cops immediately!” she could be heard saying in the call to police.
The Central Park incident happened the same day as the arrest and murder of George Floyd, with both incidents gaining instant media coverage due to video being widely shared on social media.
Just last month, The Shade Room reported on another “Karen” incident involving former NFL star Terrell Owens.
In a video posted to social media, Owens shared a recent encounter with a “Karen” in his neighborhood who falsely accused him of trying to attack her as he went to the mailbox.