Officer Cariol Horne, a 19-year veteran of the Buffalo Police Department, is fighting to have her work benefits restored after being fired for stopping her partner from brutalizing a Black man who was already in custody and for betraying the “blue wall of silence.”

“Cariol Horne prevented an officer from injuring, or possibly killing, someone and she gets fired for that?” asked retired Buffalo police officer Annette Parker, a former colleague.

“November 1, 2006, there was a call of an officer in trouble at 707 Walden,” Horne recalled during an interview on WKBW. She explained how she responded to a domestic disturbance call, and that upon arrival to the home, the man “was handcuffed in the front and he was sideways, and being punched in the face by Gregory Kwiatkowski.”

She continued: “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.”

It was then that the Caucasian cop assaulted her. “He comes up and punches me in the face, and I had to have my bridge replaced,” she said.

Then, to her surprise, Horne was fired and charged with obstruction for “jumping on Kwiatkowski’s back and/or striking him with her hands.”

But her partner’s own words contradict the charges. In a sworn statement, he said, “She never got on top of me.”

Nonetheless, Horne lost every appeal and fell just two months shy of the 20 years of service required to qualify for a pension.

The Buffalo Common Council concluded they lack the authority to restore her pension but are looking into ways to do so.

Council President Darius Pridgen stated: “What we are being told initially is that this Council does not legally have that ability [to reinstate].”

Kwiatkowski was forced to retire after being suspended for choking another cop on the job and, in a separate incident, punching another officer when he was off-duty.

According to U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr., in May 2014, Kwiatkowski was indicted on federal civil rights violations after a 2009 incident when he and two cops “shot a Black teenager with a BB gun while the boy was handcuffed and in their squad car.”

The city of Buffalo Common Council sent Horne’s case to the New York retirement system for review. A determination has not yet been made.

Horne is the mother of five children and is now working as a truck driver to make ends meet.

“My daughter said, ‘Mommy, why did you go to work that day?’ She never said, ‘Why did you do what you did?’ or ‘I wish you wouldn’t have done it.’ She just said, ‘I wish you wouldn’t have gone to work that day.’ So I don’t regret it.”