What's the hold up? Community asks Brown to sign Cariol's Law

Oct 22, 2020

At a public hearing Wednesday afternoon, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown heard from concerned community members regarding Cariol’s Law, named after former Police Officer Cariol Horne. 

Cariol Horne (center) speaks at a recent march.
Credit Thomas O'Neil-White

The law would make it a duty for police officers to intervene in situations where officers are being too aggressive with a suspect. The measure passed in the Common Council in late-September.

Horne was fired from the force due to disciplinary charges in 2008 and her firing was later upheld by a judge.

Many of the speakers at hearing took the Mayor to task for not immediately signing the measure into law, specifically, activist India Walton wondered what the hold-up is to sign something which has such broad support.

“Mayor Brown you have an opportunity to really show your leadership in this,” she said. “I don’t think we should wait until [October] 29th. I think that at the conclusion of this public hearing, I implore you to sign Cariol’s Law, in her name. There’s already a super-majority in the Council and your leadership on this issue is going to be imperative for any type of healing or repair we move forward with as a community.”

Brown responded by saying he understood the importance of putting police policy into law and will mull over what was said during the hearing. Horne released at statement Wednesday calling the hearing another stall tactic. Brown has until Oct. 29 to act on the law.