Buffalo: No Justice, No Peace
No less than eight charges were leveled against Horne by Buffaloâ€™s Internal Affairs Division most relating to obstruction; Kwiatkowski accused Horne of jumping on his back, which she denies.
Police officer Cariole J. Horne was ordered back to work a few weeks ago.
This is the same Black female police officer who was punched in the face by a white male colleague on the Buffalo Police Department. The male officer was choking an unarmed suspect and she’d intervened, probably saving the man’s life and the officer from serious charges.
Instead, it was Officer Horne who faced charges for interfering with police work, even after she was pummeled like a suspect. Horne suffered injuries from the beating by a fellow cop; now she’s been ordered back to work.
It's cold and there’s a strong and unpleasant stench here in Buffalo.
Horne's on the second shift against here doctor's orders. She’s at downtown headquarters working in the camera room. They’re monitoring to look for an excuse to give her the boot.
One lieutenant wasted no time asking her workmates if she was hard to deal with, I’ve learned. She also adds that even the Commissioner came in at around 12 midnight, asking the officer she was working with whether or not Horne was any trouble. Ironically, Police Commissioner Herman McCarthy Gipson, who is also Black, refused to listen to Horne's attorney speak at the so-called Policy and Procedure hearing, to determine officer Horne’s fate.
"Once again it's retaliatory and it's against the department's rules and we are going to take it up with the Federal Court. It's a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1965,” the attorney Anthony Pendergrass, tells me.
“She's filed a grievance with the department saying they refused to follow their own rules. We feel she is being discriminated against because of her race and because she is a woman."
Officer Horne's hearings may not be dead in the water as assumed. On February 27 the Hearing Officer, Thomas Rinaldo, summarily closed the proceedings. “We filed an order to Show Cause requesting the Supreme Court to give another 3-5 days of more hearings to adequately present the case," Pendergrass adds, referring to state Supreme Court.
Officer Horne’s saga started on November 11, 2006 when a mailman flagged down an officer after witnessing a domestic squabble between a former live-in couple.
Neal Mack’s ex had stopped by for her mail when the two had an altercation. Officer Greg M. Kwiatkowski, responded.
According to Mack’s attorney, Pendergrass, police beat up Mack and his children. This is what officer Horne herself later told me. “When I got there Neal Mack was cuffed in the front and he was standing sideways while the cop was punching him in the face,” she said, of officer Kwiatkowski. “When I walked in there, Kwiatkowski continued to punch him in the face.”
Considering that officer Kwiatkowski’s actions were a complete breakdown in police and public safety procedure, not to mention the uncalled for lack of total respect for a private citizen and his guests in his home, Horne said the only thing on her mind at that point was to get Mack out of the apartment. “Actually I was really thinking we’d better get him out of here before Kwiatkowski kills him,” she later recalled.
“Then Greg had Mr. Neal; he pulled him down to him and just started choking him with his arm. I was looking at the guys face and I said ‘Greg! Greg! You’re choking him.’ So I grabbed his arm from around the guy’s neck and he said ‘Get the Fuck off of me’ and punched me in my face.”
No less than eight charges were leveled against Horne by Buffalo’s Internal Affairs Division most relating to obstruction; Kwiatkowski accused Horne of jumping on his back, which she denies.
Horne is not without her own prior issues with the department but she deserves more objective judgment.
(Pendergrass also represented me briefly in my case. I had been searching for Mack in February after he was beaten by police officers who apparently want to insert themselves in the whole affair between Horne and the department. When I went searching for him at a hospital, I was subsequently arrested and charged with trespassing, obstruction and resisting arrest. A judge recently ruled that I can’t use Pendergrass as my counsel. Pendergrass is a good attorney. My new attorney will be Samuel P. Davis. I'm being criminalized simply for staying on top of this case.)
Legal Fund: Horne's case is ongoing and she is still in need of money for her defense fund. Any donations should go to: Cariol Horne, LDF, M&T Bank, 1290 Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo, New York, 14211.
As for my own legal defense fund: Chris Stevenson, LDF. P.O. Box 1053, Buffalo, New York, 14205.
Columnist Chris Stevenson writes for the Buffalo Challenger, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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