A Black Nashville woman has filed a $5 million lawsuit against a white former New York cop for breaking into her house while drunk and yelling obscenities and racial slurs at her.
Conese Halliburton filed a federal lawsuit against Michael Reynolds this week in response to the 2018 incident. Reynolds was in Nashville with two other New York police officers to attend a bachelor’s party when he reportedly got drunk and mistook Halliburton’s house for the Airbnb he and the other cops had rented out next door, and broke into the wrong house. Reynolds was charged, convicted of assault and criminal trespassing and sentenced to 15 days in jail and three years’ probation.
Video surveillance of the incident shows Reynolds threatening Halliburton and her 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.”
In the suit, Halliburton accuses Reynolds of assault, trespassing and causing emotional distress. She is currently seeking $3.75 million in punitive damages and $1.25 million in compensatory damages.
“Approximately eight minutes after invading Ms. Halliburton’s home, terrorizing Ms. Halliburton and her minor children, hurling racial slurs at them, and threatening them with deadly force, Officer Reynolds casually returned to the Airbnb where he was staying when it became clear to him that police were about to arrive,” the lawsuit said, according to ABC News. “Upon leaving Ms. Halliburton’s home, a companion of Officer Reynolds yelled out and asked him: ‘Did you make her strip?’”
Halliburton says she and her family still have nightmares from the incident, according to ABC News.
“My kids want to move. They don’t want to be in that house anymore,” Halliburton said at Reynolds’ court sentencing. “We don’t have peace. To know that you’ve been living somewhere all your life, and you don’t have that anymore, and where would you go, it’s not fair. It’s not fair that somebody can laugh in your face and their friends can laugh about it like it’s a joke, and your life stops, and their life can keep ongoing,” she added, reported ABC News.
Reynolds resigned in early January before he could be disciplined by the New York Police Department. In a statement, the NYPD said “He will receive no pension or health benefits, nor will he be allowed to carry a firearm. His actions are wholly inconsistent with the values and standards the New York City Police Department expects and demands of its officers.”