A black officer who was removed in 2008 for intervening when a white colleague employed a ch-oke hold was given back pay and a pension. It was the judgment made by a New York judge. Officer Cariol Horne is from Buffalo New York, she lost her job after she stopped a white officer from using a chokehold on a cuff suspect in 2016.
She served the Buffalo officer force for about 19-20 years needed to receive a pension.
During an interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar in 2022, Horne said, “the message was sent that you don’t cross the blue lines and so many officers don’t.” “I had five children and I lost everything except I didn’t lose the suspect’s life,” she said. “So, there is nothing else to live for in life, at least I know that I did the right thing and he still breathes.” On Tuesday her pension was restored and her prior dismissal was vacated after the court ruled.
When CNN’s Don Lemon asked whether she felt vindicated by the ruling, she said, “it is getting there.” She further added, “If everyone out there is not vindicated then I’m not vindicated.” With that, she asserts that she would continue to push for accountability in po-lice departments.” CNN reached the city on Wednesday but it received no response. Michael J. DeGeorge, the spokesman for Buffalo News said, “The city is always supportive over any additional judicial review available to Officer Horne, and the city respects the court’s decision.”
Both Buffalo Po-lice Department and the Buffalo Po-lice Benevolent Association didn’t make an immediate move when requested for comment. “The legal system can at the very least be the mechanism to help justice win, even if behind time,” wrote Dennis E Ward, Erie County Supreme Court Judge in his decision. He also referenced the cases of Eric Garner – the man from New York who lost his life after being placed in a cho-ke and George Floyd who lost his life after a Minneapolis officer pressed his knee on his neck for about nine and half minutes – among various charge occurrences of extreme force by the officers.
“One of the issues in all the cases is the role of other officers in the scene failing to intervene to save the life of a person when such unreasonable physical force is being applied,” Ward wrote. Then he referenced Buffalo lawmakers who enclosed a law obligating officers to involved in the scene when excessive force is used and he named the legislation after Horne. In doing so he wrote, “thus it is already determined that officer Horne intervenes to save the life of a civilian.”
Horne addressed the court decision as. “My vindication comes at 15 years’ cost. However, what I have gained is not measurable. I never want another officer to go through what I have experienced for doing the right thing.” Horne then called the lawmakers nationwide to pass similar legislation to Buffalo’s “Cariol’s Law,” that impels officers to intervene and protect those who do. While speaking to Lemon Horne said, “the law shall punish any officer who doesn’t intervene” and that for officers, “if you feel like you are breaking the law, you won’t break it, or at least you shouldn’t break it.”