A white woman who became a worldwide example of the prejudice that Black people experience on a daily basis, is suing her former employer for firing her, claiming racial discrimination.
The woman makes the allegation in a lawsuit recently filed against the financial company where she worked, which fired her a year ago after a heated confrontation with a Black bird-watcher was recorded on video.
The lawsuit is the latest repercussion of the incident that took place last year, which sparked a heated debate about the history of white individuals bringing false, and often life-threatening, allegations against Black people to police.
The incident started when the Black man, a bird-watcher, asked the woman to tether her dog as required by park regulations in the designated area of the park.
The woman refused to leash her dog and claimed the man would offer the dog treats to get the animal away from her.
The woman, holding her dog firmly, dialed 911 as the man was recording their conversation on his phone.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she told the man as she called, her tone becoming more agitated as she repeated, twice, to the operator, “African American.”
The man’s video, which his sister posted on Twitter, had been watched more than 30 million times within a day.
The company where the woman worked as the firm’s head of insurance portfolio management for nearly five years, first suspended her, before they decided to fire her.
Regardless of what the video reveals, the woman claims in her lawsuit that she was not motivated by racial animus when she called the cops on the man.
She claims in her lawsuit, filed in federal court, that she did not scream at the man or contact the police because she was a racist; according to her, she did these things because she was alone in the park and terrified to death.
She goes on to claim that the man chose her as a target and that he is overzealous.
In addition, the lawsuit claims that the company did not fully examine the issue because of the woman’s own race and gender, essentially deciding to fire her because she is a white woman.
The lawsuit also recounts a previous encounter between the man and another person, who is also Black, and claims he approached him angrily over an off-leash dog.
The woman’s lawyer said that her client’s life was ruined without even hearing her side of the story.
The suit’s portrayal of the man’s conduct seemed to contradict a statement the woman put online the day after the incident, in which she apologized to him for her actions at their encounter in the park.
In the rest of her first statement, the woman said that she “reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions,” clarifying that it was her “the one who was acting inappropriately.”
The man, who has said repeatedly that he does not think the woman’s life should have been ruined as a result of her actions, has refused to comment on her suit.
In a statement, the company’s spokesperson said the firm stood by its decision to dismiss the woman.
The company firmly affirms that they “responded appropriately,” according to their spokesperson. The firm also states that they “will defend against these baseless claims.”
The woman was ultimately prosecuted for submitting a false complaint by the district attorney’s office, making her one of the first white people in the United States to be legally charged for calling the police on a Black individual.
After the man declined to be part of the investigation, claiming that the woman had already paid a hefty price, prosecutors requested that she attend a series of therapy sessions before dropping the case.
According to the woman’s therapist, the prosecutor in charge of the case, said in court after the charge was withdrawn that the woman learned a lot in the sessions and that they were a moving experience for her.
Do you think the woman is making the right decision?