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Evicted former police officer claims retaliation

Mike Desmond

Former Buffalo police officer Cariol Horne has left town, evicted from her unit in the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority's Kenfield-Langfield project over unpaid rent. She blames the situation on retaliation.

Horne admits she has had problems with paying her rent, especially now as a long-distance truck driver based in Charlotte, NC. Monday, she was in her former apartment, marked by an eviction notice, packing up.

She told reporters there had been unsuccessful attempts to make partial rent payments and to work something out. The former officer said it is part of a long effort to get her to leave town because she "won't shut up."

Horne was fired in 2008 for an incident, according to her, after stepping in to block another officer from violently attacking a crime suspect. That officer eventually went to prison for using violence.

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Horne said she lost her pension after being fired, while the officer she stopped will still receive his pension when he is released from prison for another beating.

"Speaking out against police brutality has definitely put me in a situation," Horne said, "and that officer is now incarcerated because he took a plea on federal charges and also testified in court that he lied during the hearing, which he also lied in mine. So when he gets out, he still has the pension and I don't."

Horne was arrested at Mayor Byron Brown's State of the City address, after protesting police violence. She blames the mayor for some of her problems.

Horne said the BMHA just did not want her money.

"My daughter, who's also on the lease and they were using her income, they would not let her make payment arrangements," Horne said. "She took in two payments. They were not accepted and eventually one went through. I still don't know what happened with the other one. I have money orders that I was saving because I was going to make the payments, but I couldn't make them because they were not accepted."

Neal Mack Jr. is the son of the man allegedly beaten by the other cop and a tenant representative to the housing project and the overall BMHA. Mack said the housing authority did not help Horne over her rent problems.

"That would be a fair statement, but I want to see to the City of Buffalo," Mack said. "She did have some type of rent payment, rent issues. This is low- to lower-income housing. If you have problems with payments or jobs or whatever the case may be, BMHA are supposed to negotiate with the residents, with the tenant."

BMHA Executive Director Gillian Brown did not return a phone call to discuss the eviction.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.