Cariol Horne served her Buffalo, New York, community for years patrolling the streets as an officer of the law. But a November 2006 incident changed her life forever when she intervened in an ongoing chokehold being administered by her white colleague.
She was terminated after serving 19 years, just one year shy of the 20-year mark needed to secure her pension from the Buffalo Police Department.
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“The message was sent that you don’t cross that blue line and so some officers — many officers don’t,” said Horne in an interview Tuesday with CNN’s Brianna Keilar.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death and countless others, who lost their lives after saying “I can’t breathe,” Horne’s story is resurfacing again. Officials from Buffalo Common Council, the city government’s legislative branch, have recently advocated for her case to be reopened for a second look. The council recently submitted their request to the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, citing Floyd’s case as one of national timeliness and importance.
“I don’t want any officer to go through what I have gone through,” Horne continued. “I had five children and I lost everything but [the suspect] did not lose his life. So, if I have nothing else to live for in life, at least I can know that I did the right thing and that [he] still breathes.”
In the interview Horne disputed a claim that she jumped on her colleagues back to stop him, stating that she merely removed his hands from around the neck of the suspect.