White NYPD officer, who spewed racist threats to a Black woman after breaking into her home, resigns

Former New York Police Department Officer Michael J. Reynolds resigned from his position after spending 15 days in jail and probation for making a racist threats to a Black woman and her family in Nashville in 2018. (Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Nashville Police Department)

Michael J. Reynolds was having the time of his life at a weekend bachelor party in Nashville, Tennessee in 2018 when he made a mistake that would cost him his job and nearly his freedom.

Reynolds received 15 days in jail for breaking into Conese Halliburton‘s house while he was vacationing. Reynolds was convicted of three counts of assault with fear of bodily injury and one count of aggravated criminal trespass. Halliburton, who is Black, contends that the Reynolds broke into her home, intoxicated, and began hurling racial insults at her and her family.

In addition to the two-week jail sentence, a judge ordered Reynolds to pay $1,000 in court costs and gave him nearly three years of unsupervised probation, according to CNN. He was on a modified duty status pending an NYPD internal review until Thursday morning when officials asked him to come to police headquarters.

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During the trial, Halliburton told the court that she heard screaming in her front yard before Reynolds broke into her house around 2:30 a.m. on July 9, 2018. She said he screamed obscenities at her and told her it was his house. Video surveillance of the incident shows Reynolds threatening Halliburton’s 20-year-old son saying, “I’ll break every f—ing bone in your f—ing neck” and “I’m going to shoot y’all n—ers.”

According to NBC News, Reynolds resigned before any disciplinary action could take place against him.

“He will receive no pension or health benefits, nor will he be allowed to carry a firearm,” an  NYPD statement said.

Halliburton, 42, has been waiting for this day. Through her lawyer, she believed that the 26-year-old former officer had gotten off too easy and petitioned that he should be fired from the NYPD for the incident that occurred in her home which she shares with her children, located next door at the AirBnB where Reynolds was actually staying. Two other police officers, who have not been identified, were vacationing with Reynolds at the time, according to court documents

“Michael Reynolds is a violent and dangerous racist who has no business carrying either a badge or a gun,” Daniel Horwitz, attorney for Halliburton, told CNN. “Ms. Halliburton wants the NYPD to fire him immediately so that he can’t hurt anyone else, and we are all frankly dumbfounded that that has not happened already.”

Stand and Deliver

Activist Tamika Mallory, who helped organize the 2017 Women’s March, is backing Halliburton and helped organize a press conference and protest rally against the officer on New Year’s Day. She took to Instagram to decry the treatment and demand accountability from the NYPD. Nearly 12,000 people signed a petition calling for Reynolds to be axed.

“NYers will not allow an officer to stay on our police force after he attacked a black family and called them niggers. The fact that we have to leave our homes on this day is a crime in itself. Nevertheless, we must fight! Thanks to @arcofjustice for organizing the action. On my way! #untilfreedom,” Mallory posted.

At his sentencing hearing last month, Reynolds told the judge that he had been drinking and didn’t remember using a racial slur. When he was asked whether he had reason to doubt that he used it, he replied: “No.”

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The next day, Halliburton and a neighbor confronted Reynolds and two other officers,who were staying at an Air BnB property next door. They said the officers laughed at them and said as cops they had “immunity.”

Reynolds told the court the NYPD suspended him for 30 days as a result of the incident while the two other officers lost vacation days. Now, effective immediately Reynolds has lost his job and all benefits associated with it.