Woman who falsely accused Black bird watcher sues ex-employer

NEW YORK, May 26 (Reuters) – The white woman who falsely told the police that a Black bird-watcher had threatened her in New York City's Central Park has sued her former employer Franklin Templeton, claiming it fired her without investigating the incident and falsely portrayed her as racist. 

  In a complaint filed on Tuesday night in Manhattan federal court, Amy Cooper said Franklin Templeton's actions "caused her such severe emotional distress that she was suicidal." 

  Cooper is seeking unspecified damages for race and gender discrimination, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. 

  Franklin Templeton, part of Franklin Resources Inc, did not immediately respond on Wednesday to requests for comment. 

  Cooper's May 25, 2020 dispute with the bird-watcher Christian Cooper, who is not related to her, drew wide attention after a video surfaced of her calling the police and saying "there's an African-American man threatening my life." 

  Franklin Templeton fired Cooper the next day. The video has been seen on Twitter more than 45 million times. 

  Amy Cooper was charged by Manhattan prosecutors last July with filing a false police report. The charges were dropped in February after Cooper completed therapy that included instruction on not using racial bias. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky) 

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