“November 1, 2006, there was a call of an officer in trouble at 707 Walden,” Cariol Horne recalls.
The officer in need of assistance was Gregory Kwiatkowski. He was responding to a domestic dispute at the aforementioned address, between Neal Mack and his girlfriend who was living with him.
But by the time that officer Horne got there, she says that Mack had already been placed under arrest.
“He was handcuffed in the front and he was sideways and being punched in the face by Gregory Kwiatkowski,” Horne recounted.
There were nearly a dozen other officers at the scene, who dragged Mack from the home. Horne says that once he was outside, Officer Kwiatkowski lost all control.
“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,” Horne said.
First he put a chokehold of a handcuffed suspect, but then when officer Horne tried to stop him, she says that “he comes up and punches me in the face and I had to have my bridge replaced.”
Horne was then fired and charged with obstruction for “jumping on officer Kwiatkowski’s back and/or striking him with her hands,” in self-defense after he punched her in the face.
Officer Kiwatkowski wrote in a sworn statement that “she never got on top of me,” indicating that while she tried to stop him, the official report was pure fabrication and he was the aggressor at every turn.
Now, with her 19 year career destroyed for trying to stop a bad cop from abusing a suspect, this mother of five is told she cannot qualify for a pension.
“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.”
Officer Kwiatkowski, for his part, was forced to retire after getting suspended for choking another police officer in a separate incident, as well as punching another officer when he was off the clock, in yet another incident. Still, in spite of this obvious validation of her claims about Kwiatkowski’s insanity and brutality,Horne is still being blocked from her pension.
The City of Buffalo Common Council recently sent Horne’s case to the New York State retirementsystem, saying that they lack the authority to restore her pension. That review is still underway and a determination has not yet been made. Help us spread the word! This is what happens to “good cops” when they try to stop bad cops: the bad cops force them out of their jobs!