Cariol Horne on NPR's Here and Now

Jul 21, 2020

Credit photo provided by Cariol Horne

Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with Cariol Horne, a former Buffalo police officer who was fired after she intervened to stop a white police officer who had placed a chokehold on a Black suspect.

Horne was a Buffalo police office in 2006, and claims she was fired after trying to intervene when fellow officer Greg Kwiatkowski was choking Neal Mack, a black suspect being arrested.

In the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Horne's case has been been in the spotlight during some of the related protests around Buffalo. 

Buffalo Police brought disciplinary charges against Horne saying she had put her fellow officers at risk, and she was fired in 2008, a few months shy of becoming eligble for her city pension.  

Later Kwiatkowski sued Horne and her attorney for defamation.  In that case, a judge found that her attorney made several false and defamatory statements, including when he said  she "saved the life of a suspect who was already in handcuffs and was being choked out by officer Greg Kwiatkowski." A later lawsuit by Mack found no wrongdoing by the police offers during his arrest.

 The Buffalo Common Council is asking the New York state attorney general to take another look at her case.

"I think ultimately, especially as we look at, you know, the climate and atmosphere right now and the attention, is that she should at least be able to receive her pension and the year that she lost as a police officer so that she can, at the least, be able to receive her pension,' Council President Darius Pridgen told NPR in a recent interview.

The council also approved a duty-to-intervene policy, which basically says that if an officer sees someone in distress, regardless of whether it is by a fellow officer, they have a duty to intervene and - just as Horne did.