Cariol Horne Files Motion to Vacate Judgment

Statement from Kirkland & Ellis partner Neil Eggleston and Harvard Law School Professor and Director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School Ronald Sullivan, Jr.:

Today, we filed a motion on behalf Cariol Horne, asking a New York Supreme Court judge, in the interests of justice, to vacate a 2010 judgment that upheld an administrative decision to fire Cariol from the Buffalo Police Department for intervening during a chokehold delivered by a fellow officer against an unarmed Black man. Rather than being praised for potentially saving a life, Cariol was fired in May 2008, only months shy of her police pension vesting.

We are committed to achieving justice for Cariol and have asked the court to reinstate her retroactively as a member of the Buffalo Police Department through 2010 so that she can access the pension and benefits she has been wrongfully denied.

We are confident that the court will correct this injustice that occurred 14 years ago because Cariol intervened to protect an unarmed civilian.

Today, police departments across the country recognize that officers need to intervene when they see another police officer put a life at risk. Indeed, the Buffalo Common Council passed Cariol’s Law on Tuesday, making it mandatory for police officers to intervene and stop acts of brutality by fellow officers, and providing protection against retaliation for those officers who fulfill this duty.

We await the court’s ruling, and look forward to the day when Cariol is vindicated and celebrated for the prudent decision to deescalate a potentially dangerous situation.

Published: October 2, 2020