The Buffalo, New York city council voted this week to have State Attorney General Letitia James investigate the firing of a Black officer who tried to stop her white colleague from using excessive force, NBC News reports.
Officer Cariol Horne was fired in 2008 for an incident that occurred two years prior. During the 2006 arrest, Horne stopped white officer, Gregory Kwiatkowski, from putting a suspect in a chokehold. The Buffalo Police Department claimed that Horne put Kwiatkowski and the other responding officers in danger by preventing him from locking in the hold resulting in her being fired.
At the time of her firing, Horne was a 19-year veteran and was one year away from receiving her pension. The city is now asking Attorney General James to look into the motives behind Horne's firing.
"Now with so much attention being on the present and what some officers have done negatively, it is very difficult for some people to move forward if we have not repaired the past," Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen told the local NBC affiliate.
Since leaving the force, Horne has become an activist who speaks out against police brutality. She also champions legislation that attempts to protect officers who stop their co-workers from using excessive force. Horne told The Washington Post that she doesn't regret her decision even though it dramatically impacted her life.
"I always say that if I had to do it again, I would," Horne said.
Ten years after Horne was fired, officer Gregory Kwiatkowski was sentenced to four months in prison for the use of excessive force against four Black teenagers. Per the Department of Justice, the police were called to the scene because the teens were shooting BB guns in their neighborhood. Despite this minor offense, Kwiatkowski acted by "forcibly pushing each of the suspects' heads and upper torsos into the vehicle around which they were being detained."
The news of Horne's investigation follows a new New York state police reform bill that was signed into the law on Friday. Governor Andrew Cuomo approved a law that bans certain unethical practices. This includes a law making fake race-based 911 calls a crime, a repeal of law 50-A, and a statewide ban on police chokeholds.