During my 20-year career with the LAPD, I frequently was the victim of persecution and a hostile work environment because I did not “go along to get along.” Instead, to paraphrase educator Horace Mann, I always sought to win some victory for humanity.
I was never alone in this fight.
For example, in 2006, 19-year Buffalo police veteran Cariol Holloman-Horne answered an officer-in-distress call from officer Gregory Kwiatkowski, who’d responded to a domestic dispute between a resident and his girlfriend. As Holloman-Horne entered the home, she found the man handcuffed and in custody while Kwiatkowski beat the suspect over the head.
After Holloman-Horne and other officers intervened to take the suspect outside, Kwiatkowski followed and began to choke him and assault him again, she said. When Holloman-Horne tried to stop the assault, Kwiatkowski turned his rage on her, punching her in the face so forcefully that she needed to have her nose reconstructed.
Her reward for trying to stop the assault? She was charged with 13 counts of police misconduct and ultimately fired. She since has lost every appeal of her termination and, thus, her service pension. Apparently, no good deed goes unpunished.
Despite her plight, though, Holloman-Horne has continued to speak out against her injustice and to promote the real reason why former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee: opposition to police abuse in minority communities.