/  10.28.2020

A federal judge ordered a former New York Police Department (NYPD) officer to pay $1 million to a Black woman whose home he broke into while he was intoxicated.

According to The Tennessean, Michael J. Reynolds has to pay the large settlement to Conese Halliburton after he entered home and yelled racial slurs to her while she was there with her sons. Back in 2018, Reynolds and other NYPD officers traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for a bachelor party. They stayed in an Airbnb — which was located next to Halliburton’s home. Reynolds kicked in the front door of her residence and barged in.

The entire incident was caught on video surveillance. Reynolds could be heard screaming and threatening the family and using the N-word. “Try to shoot me and I’ll break every fucking bone in your fucking neck,” he said. He also called her a “fucking n*gger.”

The ordeal lasted about eight minutes and ended once Reynolds was informed that the police were on their way. The next day, Halliburton and other neighbors confronted the officers about their behavior. Reynolds laughed it off and apologized — with a smirk on his face.

According to court testimony, Officer Thomas Geberth told Halliburton, “We are police from New York. You don’t need to make a big deal about it. We were just drinking.”

Reynolds was subsequently sentenced to 15 days in jail and placed on probation for three years. Halliburton filed a $5 million civil lawsuit against the officer, who has since resigned from the department following national backlash. She and her family had to attend counseling after the incident.

“Ms. Halliburton promised from the beginning that she would hold ex-officer Reynolds fully accountable for his criminal misconduct and obtain justice for her family regarding this despicable incident,” said her attorney, Daniel A. Horwitz. ”We are certainly pleased with this development, but we also aren’t finished here.” 


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