A black woman’s story about her firing from the Buffalo Police Department recently went viral in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Cariol Horne, served as a member of the force for over 19 years before she was unceremoniously fired.
Horne says she stopped a white officer’s chokehold on a black suspect in handcuffs and believes she was fired for it.
Horne told CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan the image of George Floyd dying at the hands of police in Minneapolis is triggering.
“Looking at the video, it was very upsetting, and I felt that if one of those officers has stepped in that he would be alive today,” she said.
Luckily for the suspect in Horne’s case, Neal Mack, she DID step in and she believes she saved a man’s life. Neal Mack agrees that his life was saved and has praised Horne for stepping in.
In November 2006 Horne intervened when Officer Greg Kwiatkowski was choking Mack who was in handcuffs, noting that he “looked like he was about to die.” “You killing him, Greg,'” Mack remembers hearing Horne saying. “And she reached over and tried to grab his hand around my neck.”
Still, despite her heroic actions, The Buffalo Police Department brought disciplinary charges against her and officially fired her just months before she was eligible for her pension. The white officer, Kwiatkowski, sued her and her lawyer for defamation. Horne believes her firing was because she “crossed the blue line.”
“The message was sent that you don’t cross that blue line and so some officers — many officers don’t,” said Horne in an interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar.
“I don’t want any officer to go through what I have gone through,” Horne continued. “I had five children and I lost everything but [the suspect] did not lose his life. So, if I have nothing else to live for in life, at least I can know that I did the right thing and that [he] still breathes.”
The Buffalo Common Council has submitted a resolution to the New York Attorney General’s Office to take a second look at Ms. Horne’s case in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
“There is a responsibility to propose special protections for individual police officers who intervene to protect citizens from excessive use of force situations involving their other officers,” the council said it its resolution,” reports CNN.
The resolution also calls on the Buffalo Police Department to “enforce and train officers on the “Duty to intervene” policy within the next 30 days and to check for any attendance discrepancies into the needed days for her to receive her pension.”
Until Horne’s pension is (hopefully) reinstated, a GoFundMe has been launched for the former officer.
What do YOU think about Carol Horne’s story??? What would’ve happened if the officers in George Floyd’s case intervened like she did?