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Footage of Amy Cooper in Central Park, filmed by bird watcher Chris Cooper last Memorial Day and posted to Facebook. The video played on The View in May 2020. Photo: The View/Chris Cooper

Amy Cooper, a white woman who called 911 to falsely accuse a Black bird watcher of threatening her life in Central Park, has filed a lawsuit against her former employer for firing her.

Driving the news: Cooper alleges in the lawsuit against Franklin Templeton that the company didn't conduct an investigation before firing her after video of the incident went viral last May, and she claims she's a victim of racial discrimination.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Flashback: Cooper was charged for making a false report, but prosecutors later dropped the case after she "completed a therapeutic educational program that included instruction about racial biases," per the New York Times.

  • Christian Cooper, the bird watcher who filmed Cooper's response after he asked her to put her dog on a leash, told the View last year that he had accepted her apology.
  • He noted she had taken a dispute "between a birder and a dog walker" to a "very dark place" and that Cooper should "examine why and how that happened."

Zoom in: The suit, filed Tuesday night in the Southern District of New York, states: "This confrontation became international news as a racial flashpoint, characterized as a privileged white female 'Karen' caught on video verbally abusing an African American male with no possible reason other than the color of his skin."

  • Cooper alleges that Franklin Templeton "nurtured" this characterization, claiming that she called police not because she's racist but because she was fearful.

What they're saying: Franklin Templeton said in a statement to media Wednesday it would defend "these baseless claims."

  • "We believe the circumstances of the situation speak for themselves and that the Company responded appropriately," the company said.

Read the lawsuit, obtained by Law and Crime, via DocumentCloud:

Go deeper

From gypsy moths to Audubon, nature names face racism test

Freshly hatched caterpillars of gypsy moths on the bark of a red oak. Photo: Sebastian Willnow/picture alliance via Getty Images

Bugs, birds, fish and plants with names linked to white supremacists may be renamed, as science confronts its own ties to systemic racism.

Why it matters: The national reckoning was inevitably going to pass this way. The sciences have long underrepresented and erected barriers of entry to people of color and there’s a concerted effort for a reset under way in academia, research and hiring.

21 mins ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.

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