Buffalo police officer turned activist Cariol Horne is suing the City of Buffalo, its police department, current Commissioner Byron Lockwood and former commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson.

What You Need To Know

  • Cariol Horne is suing the city, police department, and police officials
  • The lawsuit comes just days after Common Council passed Cariol's Law
  • Horne wants her former job as a police officer back


Horne claims the BPD fired her 12 years ago after she stopped another officer from choking a handcuffed suspect.

Neal Mack, the man at the center of the chokehold, told Spectrum News earlier this week he believes Horne is his angel.

"They were choking me, and I couldn't breathe and she came in out of nowhere, eyes locked, that was it," Mack said.

The lawsuit is seeking to have her reinstated as an officer with full back-pay and benefits, including her police pension.

Horne's attorney argues she was denied a fair trial and the hearing officer who fired her didn't have the proper authority designated by Buffalo Police.

While city officials cannot comment on pending litigation, Mayor Byron Brown previously said Horne chose to go before an arbitrator instead of accepting a judgment from the police commissioner.

The arbitrator recommended her termination and a judge upheld that decision, and she was denied her pension.

The lawsuit comes just days after the Buffalo Common Council passed Cariol's Law, which requires officers to step in and stop their colleagues from using excessive force.

After its passage on Tuesday, Common Council President Darius Pridgen said, "We are encouraging and asking for a signature on this law as soon as possible so that no other person who is under police arrest or in custody will suffer while another police officer is standing there."

The council voted 8 to 1 in favor of sending it to the mayor's desk. Councilmember Chris Scanlon, who voted against its passage, supports the legislation but not naming it after Horne.

"We've decided as a body to name this law after a former officer who in my opinion has a checkered record to say the least, in my opinion has zero credibility, and whose in my opinion fictitious account of one incident whose merits have been contradicted by more than a half dozen other officers," said Councilmember Scanlon during Tuesday's vote.

After Horne learned of the news of the passage, she said everything she went through was worth it.

"Although I had to go through everything I've gone through, I've gone through it for this day, now let's work on the pension," she said.