Cariol Horne, a former cop in Buffalo, New York, claims that she was fired while trying to stop Officer Gregory Kwiatkowski from choking a suspect on Nov. 1, 2006.
Officer Kwiatkowski had responded to a domestic dispute call between Neal Mack and his girlfriend. Horne responded as well because there was an "officer in trouble" call.
"[Mack] was handcuffed in the front and he was sideways and being punched in the face by Gregory Kwiatkowski," Horne told WKBW (video below).
Horne claims other officers came to the scene to help pull Mack out of his home, but things got crazy outside the house.
"Gregory Kwiatkowski turned Neal Mack around and started choking him," added Horne. "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."
"[Kwiatkowski] comes up and punches me in the face and I had to have my bridge replaced," claimed Horne.
Horne recalled that other police officers pulled her back when she tried to defend herself, which resulted in an injured shoulder.
Horne doesn't regret intervening. She told WIVB, "That day he was choking Neal Mack, I grabbed his arm from around Neal Mack’s neck, and today Neal Mack still lives because I did that. Now if that’s a crime, then I am guilty.”
Horne was terminated and charged with obstruction for "jumping on officer Kwiatkowski's back and/or striking him with her hands."
Officer Kiwatkowski said in a sworn statement about the incident: "She never got on top of me."
Horne, who has five kids, lost her pension because she worked 19 years as a cop, one year short of the 20 years needed. An arbitrator ruled against her earlier this year.
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In a bizarre twist, Officer Kwiatkowski was forced to retire after he was suspended for allegedly choking another police officer and punching another cop. However, Officer Kwiatkowski got his pension.
Officer Kwiatowkski was indicted in May 2014 for allegedly holding down a black teen and shooting him with a BB gun, a civil rights violation.
The City of Buffalo's Common Council debated Horne's case for months, but passed it off to the New York State retirement system for a ruling.