A Buffalo cop says she intervened to stop a chokehold. She was fired.
Former Buffalo police officer Cariol Horne was released in 2008 after she said she had handcuffed a white suspect's stranglehold on a black suspect. Now the Buffalo City Council is asking the New York Attorney General to investigate Horne's release.
Horne, a nearly 20-year-old veteran of the Buffalo Police Department, told CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan that the image of George Floyd, who dies in Minneapolis, is being fired.
"When I saw the video, it was very annoying and I felt that one of these officers would still be alive today if he intervened," she said.
Derek Chauvin, the cop who pushed his knee on Floyd's neck while lying on the floor and handcuffed, was released and later charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers at the scene of the crime were accused of assisting and promoting a murder.
In 2006, then officer Horne hit the headlines after intervening when she said his colleague Greg Kwiatkowski had suffocated a black suspect, Neal Mack.
"Neal Mack looked like he was going to die," said Horne. "If I hadn't entered, he might have been able to do it. He was handcuffed and suffocated."
The Buffalo Police Department filed disciplinary charges against Horne and released her in 2008, a few months before she was entitled to a full pension. Kwiatkowski sued Horne and her lawyer for defamation.
In 2011, a judge found that eight statements by Horne's lawyer were defamatory and false, including the allegation that Horne "saved the life of a suspect who was already handcuffed and suffocated by officer Greg Kwiatkowski".
Mack, the suspect at the center of the nearly 14-year-old case, still claims that Horne saved his life.
"He choked me. I was handcuffed. Cariol Horne said, 'You kill him, Greg,' and she reached out and tried to put his hand around my neck," said Mack.
In 2012, a judge in a Mack lawsuit found no misconduct by the police officers involved in his arrest in Buffalo.
Kwiatkowski was sentenced to four months in prison in 2018 for using "illegal and unreasonable violence" against four black teenagers.
"Illegal, unnecessary violence, exactly what I said," said Horne.
Horne said she turned her pain into activism. When she saw the video in which the Buffalo police pushed a 75-year-old demonstrator to the ground, she said she was disgusted.
"If you can push the 75-year-old white man in daylight now, just think about what you are doing to our young black children at night," she said.
Horne said she was at peace because of what she did. Still, she collapsed when asked how this affected her children.
"It is important for me to be honest because it was many years ago, so when you talk about where the raw emotions come from, it is because ... I have fought all these years and tried to keep them together for me Children, "she said.
Horne is now fighting for her full pension and is pushing to pass Cariole's law to protect the police who intervene from retaliation.
The Buffalo Police Department informed CBS News that Horne had requested in 2006 that an independent arbitrator review her case. The referee recommended dismissal after lengthy hearings and the then police commissioner followed this recommendation.
Former Buffalo police lieutenant Kwiatkowski could not be reached and his former lawyers did not respond to requests for comments.
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