The Woman Who Called The Police On A Black Birdwatcher For... Breathing's Case Is Going About As Well As You'd Expect
Don't you just love when judges give a little bit of pushback? It is interesting to get a record of in opinions like the spat between Justices Kagan and Sotomayor, but the really good stuff is when judges ask the parties before the court questions directly (take Justice Jackson asking why universities can't factor race in to admissions because of its discriminatory consequences while letting preference be mete out to legacy admissions).
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson confronted the lawyer arguing for outlawing affirmative action with how his proposed college admissions system would privilege a white legacy applicant over a Black descendent of slaves. Listen here -> pic.twitter.com/YYUczNakM8
-- Demand Justice (@WeDemandJustice) October 31, 2022
It happens elsewhere if you know how to look for it. Take the Second Circuit for example:
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Friday appeared skeptical of arguments brought by Amy Cooper, the woman who made national headlines in May 2020 after calling 911 on a Black birdwatcher in Central Park, as her attorney urged the court to reverse the district court's dismissal of her lawsuit against her former employer.
Financial services firm Franklin Templeton announced Cooper's termination one day after the video went viral, declaring on Twitter that the company performed an "internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday" and that the company does not "tolerate racism of any kind."
Cooper sued the firm in May 2021, arguing that the company defamed her and discriminated against her on the basis of her gender and race. Her attorney Matthew Litt of the New Jersey-based firm Litt Law PC told the panel that the case involves "textbook actionable mixed opinion."
Yeah, because of your gender and race. Not because you were trying your darndest to make somebody's son the next name in an innocence project post.
"The statements of the defendants implied to any reasonable reader that, number one, the defendants had facts unknown to the public and, number two, that the defendants used those facts to make the determination that Ms. Cooper was a racist," Litt said.
As Litt began to reference Franklin Templeton's claim that the company did an internal review, Circuit Judge Alison Nathan cut in to add the words "of the incident in Central Park."
"You left off the phrase when you said it just now, and you leave it off in your brief sometimes when you talk about it--this is the May 26 statement--the internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday," Nathan said, emphasizing the final seven words. "The reasonable reader is presumed to read all the words, are they not?"
I'd suggest that a mic drop is in order, but that might not be formal enough for the venue. Is there a way to do a tasteful "Got your ass!" gavel bang?
For anyone who hasn't seen Amy Cooper's dance in the spotlight, here is a recording of her calling a hit on a birdwatcher via 911. Warning, there is threatening behavior. It's her. She must have overcompensated for having her dog unleashed in a leash-only area by choking the ever living hell out of 'em:
This woman called the police on a Black birdwatcher after he asked her to leash her dog in NYC's Central Park, claiming that 'an African American man is threatening my life' pic.twitter.com/m41NhFD7No
-- NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 27, 2020
In case you were wondering, she surrendered that pup to the rescue she got them from. Perhaps she feared that the Rescue would also did an "internal review of the incident in Central Park" and handed over the dog to quicken up the pace.
As much as no attorney likes the feeling of several judges prodding you with questions as you try to make your case, you've got to admit it does sweeten the schadenfreude. And if you won't, I will!
Circuit Judge Rosemary Pooler asked Litt what else Franklin Templeton should have considered before making a statement about the incident in Central Park.
"Before declaring that Ms. Cooper was a racist?" Litt asked.
Circuit Judge Barrington Parker cut in.
"Where did they say she was a racist?" he asked. "They said 'We do not tolerate racism' ... that's different."
"The statement ... was connected to Amy every single time," Litt said.
"Of course it was," Parker said. "If you look at the video, the connection is automatic. Have you seen the video?"
Litt said he had.
"She's out there saying 'I'm afraid for my life because this Black man is filming me,'" Parker said.
Let the record show that the Second Circuit doesn't have any time for bullshit.
Earlier: Fresh Off Of Having Charges Dropped Against His Client For Infamous Central Park 911 Call, Amy Cooper's Attorney Now Threatens 'Legal Consequences' Against Those Who 'Rushed To the Wrong Conclusion'
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord(TM) in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at [email protected] and by tweet at @WritesForRent.