"Central Park Karen," the woman who arguably ignited the backlash online in 2020 surrounding white women calling the cops on innocent Black people, is reportedly suing her former employer for firing her.
Here's the full - and very explosive - story...
Now, who remembers the "Central Park Karen"?
In May last year, Melody Cooper shared a video of her brother, Christian Cooper, who was bird-watching in the popular New York park at the time, being confronted and antagonized by a furious white woman out walking her dog.
The confrontation began when Christian asked the woman, who was quickly identified as Amy Cooper, to put her dog back on its leash.
Melody captioned the video:
"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."
When she refused to comply with his request, Christian had allegedly offered the dog a treat.
But, instead of cooperating or simply walking away, Amy went on the defense - she grabbed her dog by the collar and stormed towards Christian, asking him to stop recording her.
"Sir, I'm asking you to stop."
Christian asked her to not come any closer but, clearly agitated, Amy continued to stride forward, all while dragging her dog by its collar.
"I'm taking a picture and calling the cops."
Despite her threats, Christian remained calm...
And actually encouraged her to call the cops.
But then, while still grabbing her dog by its collar...
Amy said defiantly:
"I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life."
It was completely unbelievable.
While standing further away with her dog struggling at her side, Amy went on to talk to a 911 operator, saying confidently:
"I'm sorry, I'm in the Bramble, and there's a man, an African American man, he's recording me and threatening me and my dog."
Christian left before the cops arrived...
My brother & I are so grateful for your concern! He is fine and left to continue birding after she leashed the dog, as he politely requested. I wanted folks to know what happened to make sure it never happens again from her. All she had to do was put her poor dog on the leash.— Melody Cooper (@melodyMcooper) May 26, 2020
And Melody later reassured concerned Twitter users:
"My brother & I are so grateful for your concern! He is fine and left to continue birding after she leashed the dog, as he politely requested. I wanted folks to know what happened to make sure it never happens again from her. All she had to do was put her poor dog on the leash."
Many expressed their relief for Christian...
I like the part where the police didn't come and shoot or taze him or have him in cuffs in the back of a police car while they "sorted it out."— Yvonne Left (@LeftYvonne) May 26, 2020
Instead of him being tasered, handcuffed, or arrested, which is sadly the case for too many Black men in this country, he was able to freely leave the situation.
And others were alarmed at how Amy was quite literally strangling her dog by its collar.
and the way she was handeling the poor dog was a crime too.. she basically dragged him by its collar and he was almost choking.. gald you all are alright.— Sam 🌍 be kind to yourself and others. Nox☇ (@SamHPTwi89) June 11, 2020
The video just got worse and worse the more you watched it.
You can watch the footage for yourself here.
Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Bramble in NY’s Central Park, where it is clear… https://t.co/zFb3O0cClz— Melody Cooper (@Melody Cooper)1590426192.0
And in the days following the video going viral, it was reported that Amy had been fired from her job at the investment firm, Franklin Templeton.
Taking to Twitter to share the news, they wrote:
Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the… https://t.co/3GkCjsaYn7— Franklin Templeton (@Franklin Templeton)1590517491.0
"We have made the decision to terminate the employee involved... We do not tolerate racism of any kind."
Clearly, things were going from bad to worse for Amy...
And it didn't take her long to come forward with an official apology.
In a telephone interview with NBC New York, she said:
"I sincerely and humbly apologize to everyone, especially to that man, his family. It was unacceptable and I humbly and fully apologize to everyone who's seen that video, everyone that's been offended… Everyone who thinks of me in lower light and I understand why they do."
She wanted people to know that "she isn't a racist"...
If it had been a black woman making the call she would have been in prison by now— Pat Shiels (@shiels_pat) May 26, 2020
"I'm not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way," she said, adding that she also didn't mean any harm to the African American community.
And then, speaking to CNN, she attempted to justify her actions by saying "she was scared."
But the cry of distress at the end really just took me out and not in a good way. Like she really just acted like your brother was harming her. That could have gotten him killed. These chicks, man...— Tracee Loran (@traceeloran) May 25, 2020
Well, it's been an entire year since the shocking incident...
@FTI_US where’s Amy Cooper the new Karen shame on her, and shame on you if she still employed with you. Disgrace— Sports r us (@Sports r us)1590458810.0
And Amy has been keeping a low profile.
A groundbreaking announcement with regards to her punishment was announced earlier this year, however.
The case against Amy Cooper — a white woman who falsely told the police that Christian Cooper, a Black bird-watcher… https://t.co/skBI5633YU— The New York Times (@The New York Times)1613489782.0
It was reported that the charges against Amy were dismissed after she completed a therapeutic educational program that included instruction about racial biases.
At a hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court, the prosecution asked a judge to dismiss one count of filing a false report against Amy, and the judge immediately did so.
White privilege, 2021. Amy Cooper will continue to Amy Cooper thanks to our criminal injustice system. https://t.co/sRJ30ywwXl— Ernest Owens (@Ernest Owens)1613492769.0
The prosecutor, Joan Illuzzi, said that Amy's therapist reported that their 5 sessions together were "a moving experience" and that she "learned a lot."
She was offered the program, part of an alternative solution that falls under the rubric of restorative justice, partially based on her lack of criminal background.
Although it seems as if Amy isn't quite ready to completely move on from the incident...
As reports have surfaced this week that the woman has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, alleging that the company did not properly consider her fear for personal safety prior to firing her.
She filed a federal complaint against investment management company Franklin Templeton on Tuesday this week...
Alleging that the company terminated her based on her race and gender while also failing to properly investigate the viral incident that made national headlines.
The lawsuit, filed exactly a year after the Central Park confrontation, requests a jury trial.
Franklin Templeton characterized the lawsuit's claims as "baseless" in a statement Wednesday and plans to defend itself.
"We believe the circumstances of the situation speak for themselves and that the Company responded appropriately," the statement said.
This is a developing story and updates will be posted accordingly.