- Franklin Templeton Investments moved to dismiss Amy Cooper’s wrongful termination lawsuit against it.
- The firm fired her after a May 2020 video of her yelling at a Black man in Central Park went viral.
- Cooper alleges that her firing was the result of racial and gender discrimination.
Cooper worked for Franklin Templeton Investments when she walked her dog in Central Park in New York City on May 25, 2020. A viral video from the day shows her telling Christian Cooper, a Black birdwatcher, that she would call the police and “tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life.”
Christian Coopers’ sister, Melody, filmed the video, and at no point does it depict Christian Cooper threatening Amy Cooper’s life. Christian Cooper wrote online that he told her: “If you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it.”
Franklin Templeton Investments announced on the day of the incident that it placed Amy Cooper on administrative leave. The following day, the company announced she was no longer a part of the organization.
In the lawsuit, Amy Cooper alleged she was a victim of gender and racial discrimination. Her attorneys allege Franklin Templeton Investments didn’t conduct an adequate investigation into the incident and that Christian Cooper was a notoriously “overzealous birdwatcher” with a history of aggression against dog walkers.
Franklin Templeton’s attorneys note that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance investigated and charged Amy Cooper with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree. Her charges were later dropped after she completed five “psychoeducation and therapy” courses.
“He’s holding these dog treats in one hand and a bike helmet in his other hand, and I’m thinking, ‘Oh, my God, is this guy going to lure my dog over and try to hit him with his bike helmet?'” Amy Cooper said. “And if I end up over there, am I going to get hit by this bike helmet?”
Franklin Templeton’s CEO said in a July interview that she stood by her decision to fire Amy Cooper.
“We felt and we feel confident in the due diligence we did in the end — the process to make our evaluations,” Jenny Johnson told Yahoo Finance.
Franklin Templeton’s attorneys requested an oral argument to dismiss the claims. A status conference has been scheduled for August 30 in New York’s Southern District Court.
Attorneys for Franklin Templeton Investments and Amy Cooper did not respond to Insider’s requests for comment on Tuesday.
Courtesy By INSIDER