Officials in Buffalo, New York, want an investigation into the firing of a black police officer who intervened when a white colleague had a suspect in a chokehold.
The incident happened in November 2006. At the time, Officer Cariol Horne had served 19 of the 20 years needed to receive her pension, a spokesperson for Horne told CNN.
But Horne was fired for intervening and did not qualify for her pension, the city said.
“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.
“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.”
To rectify what it perceives as a wrong, the Buffalo Common Council – the city government’s legislative branch – has submitted a resolution to the New York Attorney General’s Office to take a second look at the case.
The council references the case of George Floyd, who died after then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee was pressed on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds on May 25. Chauvin has been fired and charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers on the scene were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
“There is a responsibility to propose special protections for individual police officers who intervene to protect citizens from excessive use of force situations involving their other officers,” the council said it its resolution.
The resolution calls on the Buffalo Police Department to enforce and train officers on the “Duty to intervene” policy within the next 30 days and to check for any attendance discrepancies into the needed days for her to receive her pension.
The “Duty to intervene” policy calls for officers to protect citizens from unnecessary or excessive use of force, the resolution says.
“We now have a totally different attorney general, we have a total different climate and atmosphere and lens right now, across this world, as it deals with policing in the United States,” Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen told CNN affiliate WIVB.
“So I think it’s an opportune time to look back at this case and to see were there civil rights violations can she be made whole,” he said.
When asked whether she hopes the investigation into her case can lead to her getting a pension, Horne said she hopes so.
“I hope that the mayor does the right thing because, like I said, no officer should go through what I’ve gone through for doing the right thing.”
The New York Attorney General’s office told CNN it will not be commenting at this time.
CNN has reached out to the Buffalo Police Department regarding this incident.
CNN’s Mirna Alsharif and Jacqueline Rose contributed to this report