Former Black cop to get pension after stopping white officer from applying chokehold
By: Teddy Grant
A Black former Buffalo Police officer who was fired for forcibly removing a white officer from applying a chokehold on a handcuffed Black suspect will receive her pension after winning a lawsuit on Tuesday.
Cariol Horne said that after she removed the officer, the two of them got into a physical altercation, according to the New York Times.
A year after the incident, which took place in 2006, Horne was assigned to a new position, slapped with departmental charges and fired in 2008, a year shy of her 20th anniversary of the force, which would have allowed her to collect her full pension.
“The City of Buffalo has recognized the error and has acknowledged the need to undo an injustice from the past. The legal system can at the very least be the mechanism to help justice prevail, even if belatedly,” New York State Supreme Court Judge Dennis Ward wrote in his ruling.
Adding, “While the Eric Garners and the George Floyds of the world never had a chance for a ‘do-over,’ at least here the correction can be done,” he said.
Horne told the Times in a statement that she feels vindicated 15 years after the incident, “but what has been gained could not be measured.
“I never wanted another police officer to go through what I had gone through for doing the right thing,” she said.
Officer Gregory Kwiatkowski, who was the arresting officer accused of placing the chokehold on the Black suspect, said he put him in “a bear hug headlock from behind,” according to court documents.
According to the Times, Kwiatkowski was cleared of all charges following an internal investigation.
The Buffalo Police Department determined that Horne’s use of force against Kwiatkowski was not justified.
The same year she was fired, Kwiatkowski was promoted to lieutenant, The Times reported.