Updated: Mar 27, 2021
March 10, 2021
Hon. Dennis E. Ward
Supreme Court Justice
Part 12 - 2nd floor
25 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
RE: Support for Cariol Horne’s Pension
To the Honorable Judge Dennis Ward
We the undersigned are writing this letter in full support of Ms. Cariol Horne in her search to have her pension restored. Ms. Horne served the city of Buffalo, New York as a police officer for nearly 20 years before being wrongfully terminated for stopping a fellow police officer from choking a handcuffed citizen during an arrest. This act of intervention should have been praised in 2006, but it was not. However, in 2021, we have a chance to make right a wrong.
Cariol’s Law was passed by the city of Buffalo in October 2020. As it states, police officers “have a responsibility to keep the peace, not to threaten it; to protect all people from injury, not to inflict it; and to preserve and protect the rights of all citizens, not to abridge those rights.” Cariol’s action in 2006 was courageous and her willingness to ‘protect all people from injury’ was a responsibility that she took on, even though it resulted in her own personal safety being put at risk. This injustice did not only take the form of her termination, but due to this encounter, Ms. Horne’s family, her livelihood, and her physical and mental well-being were compromised.
Amongst the undersigned are representatives of active and retired law enforcement across the country. We, as law enforcement professionals and organizations, serve and protect our communities, as well as work to bridge the gap of inequity. We are coming together collectively because it is understood that establishing trust within our communities starts with supporting our brothers and sisters in blue, who in their actions, display to our communities, what good policing looks like.
We understand that to protect good policing, we must start by protecting our good police officers by mending any long-standing wounds that they may have endured over time. Too often in our society, our profession is accused of holding to the blue code of silence. However, in 2021, we must for the sake of our country and for the sake of justice, do what is right and when possible, right our wrongs. We must do this because as law enforcement, it is our duty to protect and serve, but it is also imperative that we call out injustice when we see it and “protect the rights of all citizens.”
In conclusion, we support the decision to vacate the previous order, to bring about justice, and to make Ms. Cariol Horne whole.
We thank you in advance for your time and understanding.
Founder, Strategies For Justice
William Ron Bailey (RET) Lieutenant Bridgeport/Chief Massachusetts