Police Abuse

Buffalo Cop Claims She Was Fired For Stopping Another Cop From Choking a Handcuffed Suspect, That Cop Was Later Accused of Choking Another Cop, Retired With Full Pension

|

Cariol Horne
WKBW

In 2006 Cariol Horne, a police officer in Buffalo, New York, was fired for jumping on another cop's back "and/or striking him with her hands." That cop, Gregory Kwiatkowski, says Horne never got on top of her. Horne, who spoke to WKBW in Buffalo, explains what happened:

Horne and about 10 other officers who arrived at the scene helped drag [the handcuffed suspect] Mack out of the home, but once outside, Horne says Officer Kwiatkowski was out of control.

"[Officer] Gregory Kwiatkowski turned  Neal Mack around and started choking him. So then I'm like, 'Greg! You're choking him,' because I thought whatever happened in the house he was still upset about so when he didn't stop choking him I just grabbed his arm from around Neal Mack's neck," Horne said.

If the choke hold of a handcuffed suspect caught Horne off guard, it didn't prepare her for what she said Kwiatkowski did next.

"He comes up and punches me in the face and I had to have my bridge replaced," Horne said.

When she tried to defend herself other officers pulled her back and her shoulder was injured.

Kwiatkowski denied the events, and was allowed to retire with a full pension after being suspended for allegedly choking another cop while on-duty, and punching yet another cop off-duty. He and two other Buffalo cops were indicted earlier this year on federal civil rights charges stemming from the arrest of four teenagers who allegedly shot at a crowd with a BB gun and claimed cops shot them with the BB gun and otherwise abused them.

Now Horne, who's lost all her appeals of the termination and doesn't qualify for a pension, is having that status reviewed by the state retirement system at the request of Buffalo's city council.

NEXT: Shikha Dalmia on Pakistan's Out-of-Control Islamist Terrorists

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. The systems is beyond repair.

    1. That’s pretty much where I am, too.

      The rot is too deep and too widespread to be fixed with “reform.”

      I say this because societies seem to drift into authoritarianism, but never seem to drift to liberty. Eradicating large sectors of the Total State requires a revolution.

      Maybe peaceful, probably not, since the Total State is in the habit of using whatever violence is necessary to protect its position, privilege, and pelf.

      1. Plenty of societies drift toward liberty. Britain did over many centuries. It’s only in the last, say, 150 years that Britain has surrendered its individual liberties.

        1. Plenty of societies drift toward liberty. Britain did over many centuries.

          Leaving aside the arguable example of Britain, can you think of any others?

          Britain is an interesting case, because it seems to me that the only time they can be said to have drifted toward liberty was the Victorian and perhaps Edwardian eras. However, I’m not sure that merely reducing the role of the monarch really counts toward increased liberty in and of itself.

          I know New Zealand had some libertarianish reforms awhile back, but my impression is that they have been lost again to the seemingly inexorable growth of the state.

          1. C’mon, England and Britain drifted towards liberty from the Magna Carta on, until they started going socialist in the late 1800s. The world is full of examples, especially since the printing press 500 years ago and the telegraph and radio and internet. No need to be blinded by short-term pessimism.

            1. No need to be blinded by short-term pessimism.

              My children and grandchildren are going to lead much less free lives than I did. That’s no pessimism, that’s reality.

              1. This sentiment reminds me of “peak oil”. Things trending one way now does not necessarily lead to them trending that way forever. The state restricts, individuals route around, the state restricts more, etc… Just as I won’t discount human ingenuity producing disruptive innovation in the pursuit of energy sources, I won’t discount the same in the pursuit of increased liberty.

                1. PRETTY MUCH THIS.

                  It’s amazing how many people, including the brighter-than-average people on this site, think that past results equal future returns. Never happens. Also, not to be confused with “those who do not learn from the past…”

                2. PRETTY MUCH THIS.

                  It’s amazing how many people, including the brighter-than-average people on this site, think that past results equal future returns. Never happens. Also, not to be confused with “those who do not learn from the past…”

              2. It is also not true. Their chance of living a much more FREE life than you or I is vastly greater than it was for us when we were born.

            2. I don’t dispute we’ve lost a lot of liberty and may lose more. But to say no society ever drifts into more liberty is nonsense.

              My personal bet is that the internet will generate a lot more liberty than the statists would like, but I’m not arguing that here.

        2. Ummm…it required a revolution or three to get them there.

          1. Yeah… I don’t think you can point to the 18th and 19th centuries and just ignore what happened in the 17th.

      2. We all know that calling for armed rebellion against the state is a non-starter. But there are many possible events which could wipe out civilization as we know it and allow a fresh start. Unfortunately, most of us wouldn’t survive the epidemic, asteroid strike (and aftermath), etc. And I guaran-fucking-tee you that the moment the proverbial dust settles that someone will want to form a government.

        1. Even if no one wanted to form a government, you’d get one anyway. All government really is is a gang of thugs with the last word in violence who plunder rather than produce. Everything else that government does is predicated on having the last word in violence. So whether people want a government or not, some group of men will use organized violence to plunder because it’s easier to plunder than to produce. Once they have eliminated any competing groups using organized violence, they will be the de facto government. That’s what ISIS is doing right now. They’re using organized violence to push out the existing groups who use organized violence, and in doing so they are becoming the government in the territory they control. Whether they are wanted or not.

          Some form of government is inevitable.

          1. Only if you don’t hang the bastards that get too big for their britches. Draw a line, then draw a sword and behead anyone who steps over it.

      3. Eradicating large sectors of the Total State requires a revolution.

        I posted a week or so ago that the best we could hope for was some kind of velvet revolution.

        Unfortunately, I think things need to become much, much worse before a million people take to the streets in NY or LA to force the government to resign in mass and start over.

        The best we can do today is get several hundred hipster-fuckwads to camp downtown and shit all over the place because they are pissed at rich people.

    2. almost makes you want to find a gulch somewhere…

    3. Guys, I like you and all, but this Eschaton fetish you have has got to fucking go. You sound like a secular version of Tim LaHaye.

      1. Who said anything about the Eschaton?

        I’m merely pointing out that the ratchet for the Total State doesn’t seem to have a reverse gear, and that where liberty shakes free of the Total State, it rarely if even happens gradually, but in spasms.

      2. Eschaton fetish . .. no fucking idea what you are talking about.

        You seems to be mistaking a certain amount of depression over the failure of the American Experiment with some lustfulness for the next bloody revolution.

        Realizing the Jefferson was right does’t necessarily result in a particularly warm and fuzzy feeling.

  2. ANTI COP RHETORIC!!!!!1

  3. Horne, who’s lost all her appeals of the termination and doesn’t qualify for a pension, is having her qualification reviewed by the state retirement system at the behest of Buffalo’s city council.

    Could you clarify this, Ed? Is the city council trying to get `her pension reinstated?

  4. She is obviously unclear on the cop pension concept. It’s reserved for being a cop. By stopping a fellow officer from getting his rocks off, she denied him his copness and proved herself a non-cop. Why should he be denied his pension while she gets one? That’s all backwards!

    1. From the article, the choker is already retired with a full pension.

  5. Obviously, anybody who strikes a police officer should be subject to the death penalty. Cops are speshul!

  6. The rot is too deep and too widespread to be fixed with “reform.”

    No kidding. The bipartisan coalition of the authoritarian left and the authoritarian right will squelch even the most feeble attempt to rein in the police.

  7. It is the right and duty of the Warrior Caste to chastise any peasant for giving offense to their caste. Officer Kwiatkowski was just doing his duty to the God-State when he choked this peasant to remind him of his place as a spiritual and moral inferior.

  8. Even as recently as five years ago I would have held out hope that this was the moment where the game changed and that this woman’s testimony would allow other good cops (including former ones) to come forward. Now, I’m of the same mindset as expressed by RC above.

    1. This sends a clear message to good cops out there that they better shut their yap or they’ll lose both their job and their pension.

    2. There are no good cops, only less-bad ones.

      1. Bingo.

      2. One time I was walking home in a snow storm, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a cop pull up beside me. I’m thinking “Great, here we go again” as he gets out. He said “I’m going to bring you home before you step in front of a car or something. I’m going to pat you down for weapons now. Is that a pack of cigarettes? OK. Get in the car.” He then drove me home, dropped me off, and left.

        I was dumbfounded. He didn’t demand ID, he didn’t ask me a bunch of intrusive questions, he didn’t run me for warrants, he didn’t search me or ask for consent to search my dwelling, he just gave me a ride home and left. I stood there in disbelief for probably ten minutes. Nothing like that had ever happened before, nor has it happened since.

        I think I met the mythical good cop.

        1. I’m going to pat you down for weapons now … he didn’t search me

          Wot?

          1. frisk != search

            1. As long as you don’t have anything that feels like it might be a weapon.

              I think it’s a little weird that they do that as standard practice. I wonder what they do if you have a gun or knife in your pocket (legally)?

              1. I wonder what they do if you have a gun or knife in your pocket (legally)?

                The probably hold it until you part ways, and then give it back.

                1. Which seems funny. If you are out to do harm to a cop, that would be a bad move. And if you aren’t, then it wasn’t a problem in the first place. I say if they want to be nice and helpful then they should also accept the incredibly tiny risk that the person they are helping might be dangerous.

                  I know it’s just procedure, but it seems kind of pointless, except to maybe find something on you. Though I do have friends who have been picked up hitch hiking by police and the police found a pipe on them, but didn’t arrest them for it. SO maybe they just like procedure.

                  1. Though I do have friends who have been picked up hitch hiking by police and the police found a pipe on them, but didn’t arrest them for it.

                    Is paraphernalia illegal in that jurisdiction? Otherwise, the cops probably knew it would do no good to press the issue with only paraphernalia as evidence. I wonder what would have happened if the cops you mention had found a pipe and some cash…

                    1. Used paraphernalia is because it has drugs in it. But yeah, probably not worth the paperwork.

        2. Snow storms seem to bring the good out in them sometimes. I’ve had similar interactions with cops that I know to be less than completely decent in other situarions.

          I think that there are a lot that genuinely want to help and serve people, but are also poisoned by the us against them cop mentality, so their behavior can vary a lot depending on the situation.

        3. Oh, he searched you, alright.

          Now, what if an ordinary prole had offered to give you a ride, if you would only let them pat you down a little, if you know what I mean.

          He wasn’t really just doing you a favor. If he had been, he wouldn’t have gone looking for something to arrest you for.

          1. A frisk is a search for weapons.

            Which alone can get you arrested.

            And if their “search for weapons” turns up anything else, well, guess what?

          2. He frisked me for weapons for his own safety. It’s procedure. If he was looking to arrest me he would have ran me for warrants and asked me a bunch of questions before demanding that I turn out my pockets.

        4. This is not the first time you’ve posted this story, which makes fake Dunphy’s (the DUMBEST cop on the force, after George Green)accusations against you particularly perplexing.

          Then again, I’m pretty tanked, so my shit-logic may be a bit off.

          1. Dunphy, like the rest of our trolls, has never demonstrated any cognizance that there are multiple posters with distinct identities here. All of our trolls form a collective image of us and never bother with little details like individuality.

        5. Certainly different from the Vermont Altered State Police, who impound your car as punishment for standing on your 4th amendment rights, then leave you to walk seven miles home in 20 degree weather, no coat no cell phone.

      3. I imagine plenty start out good and go bad as the job wears on them.

        I knew a good guy around my age when I lived in Buffalo who became a cop – that was 20 years ago. I don’t know what became of him.

        I can also attest that working a shitty job surrounded by some of society’s dregs can really mess with your head – I worked at some of the nastiest hotels in downtown Buffalo.

        1. The only people I know who became cops while I knew them pretty much did it because it was an available job and had no real intentions one way or another. It’s small town stuff, so they probably haven’t been corrupted too much, but they still develop that police attitude (and I can get away with a lot in a few certain towns).

  9. I wonder how much of this story is true, and how much of the true story was untold.

  10. Last night I was trying to come up with any ideas that could turn this situation around. The cops and (as noted earlier) CPS are out of control. The only idea I had was large extended families taking matters into their own hands as has been done in the past in some places(So a cop might think “Yeah, I could get away with choking this guy, but his dad, brothers, uncles, cousins, and in laws might come after me if I do). Probably wouldn’t work in large cities, plus such a system would have its own problems. Doesn’t matter anyway, as the welfare state has destroyed families in many communities already.

  11. This is why you won’t convince me that most cops are not bad people. I’m not buying that all of the cops present in this story just happened to be evil fucks who wouldn’t arrest or even stop one of their own for committing a violent assault on a suspect and another police officer. I’m going to assume that is the norm until I see a lot of evidence to the contrary. The only thing a good cop should do in that situation is to arrest the guy who was being unnecessarily violent and take him to jail. No talking him down, no internal affairs inquiry, fucking jail and arraignment the next day on assault and battery charges. Until that happens every time a cop assaults a suspect in custody, there are no good cops.

    1. Pretty much.

  12. It’s cops choking all the way down.

  13. You mean the union didn’t get this woman her job back?

    What are cop unions for, then?

    Never mind, I know.

  14. Look. This is obviously just an isolated incident where one bad apple failed to follow procedure. For besmirching the names of all the other brave heroes on the force, Officer Thorne’s employment was terminated. Frankly, she’s lucky she got off that easy.

  15. No changeling has ever harmed another.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.