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Cariol Horne’s Long Legal Battle Is Close To An End!

After a long and arduous battle with the City of Buffalo Police Department, Cariol Horne’s petition request to vacate the original determination the City based its decision on to terminate her was granted. Judge Ward “Quoting the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘the time is always right to do right.’” Ms. Horne was terminated in 2008 for intervening when officer Greg Kwiatkowski had Neal Mack, an African American suspect, in a chokehold. Judge Dennis Ward acknowledged the injustice and the need to undo the wrongs of the past.

There were several requests in the petition made by Cariol Horne, which were granted, but most importantly, the entitlement of her full pension benefits and back wages. She is also being reinstated as a police officer of the City of Buffalo for the period of July 26, 2008, through August 4, 2010.

The passing of Cariol's Law by the City of Buffalo’s 2020 legislation also created a new cause of action, which the amended affidavit and supplemental submission requested the court to rely on, which states:

§13-21.5 Retroactive Protection for Officers. “Any police officer found to have been terminated for reporting the objectively unreasonable use of force against a civilian or intervening to stop the use of objectively unreasonable force by a fellow officer within the twenty-year period preceding the adoption of this law, may have said finding reviewed by a court with competent jurisdiction.”

The City of Buffalo, by determining that Officer Horne’s intervention was appropriate, led to the City Council passing and the Mayor signing into law the following:

“Whereas, in 2006, Police Officer Cariol Horne intervened to save a civilian from being harmed by a fellow police officer and had her employment terminated; Now Therefore Be It Resolved that the City of Buffalo codifies “Cariol’s Law: The Duty to Intervene.”

This is a monumental moment for the movement that Strategies for Justice stands behind. We want to create a culture where police officers feel empowered to speak up and intervene when they see wrongdoing, without fear of retaliation.

Strategies for Justice (SFJ) is a speaking and training organization with a focus on issues of gender, disability, and racial equity within law enforcement. Our belief is that by unveiling untold narratives of injustice from those working in policing, we can encourage reform within the law enforcement community. Our mission is to provide the tools necessary to help individuals, social justice organizations, and institutions of higher education work in collaboration with law enforcement, engage in civil dialogue and help create meaningful changes in the communities they serve.

The goals of SFJ include passing equity-minded legislation, uncovering injustice through story-telling, and providing education and advocacy for the communities with whom we interact.

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