A New York City officer sentenced last month to just two weeks in jail after storming into a Tennessee home and threatening the frazzled family inside has quit the force amid mounting calls for his termination.
Michael Reynolds, 26, faced multiple charges after kicking down the door of Conese Halliburton’s home last year but was still employed by the NPYD — until Thursday. The department confirmed Reynold’s resignation effective immediately, The New York Times reported.
“He will receive no pension or health benefits, nor will he be allowed to carry a firearm,” Devora Kaye, acting deputy commissioner for public information, told the newspaper. “His actions are wholly inconsistent with the values and standards the New York City Police Department expects and demands of its officers.”
The Manhattan patrol cop was previously placed on modified desk duty after being decommissioned and suspended from the job for 30 days as a result of the July 2018 incident. He was convicted of assault and aggravated criminal trespass after terrorizing Halliburton, 42, and her sons at their Nashville home.
In December, a Tennessee judge sentenced Reynolds to 15 days in jail and three years of unsupervised probation. He was also ordered to pay more than $1,000 in court costs, court documents state.
Halliburton was outraged over the NYPD’s inaction in the case, however, and was reportedly considering filing a complaint with New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, her attorney said.
“Michael Reynolds is a violent and dangerous racist who has no business carrying either a badge or a gun,” said lawyer Daniel Horwitz. “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.”
“The NYPD needs to hold Officer Reynolds fully accountable for his violent, racist crimes against Ms. Halliburton and her family,” Horwitz added.
On Wednesday, dozens of protesters gathered outside NYPD headquarters to demand Reynold’s firing for the violent break-in. An online petition calling for the officer’s ouster had also gained more than 10,000 signatures.
“Hate crime or not there was a crime that occurred, and we could all agree on this: that crime should mean that you are no longer a member of the NYPD,” Jumaane Williams, the New York City Public Advocate who was present for the New Year’s Day protest, told NBC New York.
Mistaking the residence for the next-door Airbnb where he and a group of friends, including two other officers, were staying for a fun bachelor party weekend, a drunken Reynolds burst through Haliburton’s front door in the wee hours of July 9, 2018. Recalling the incident, the mom of four said she heard shouting outside minutes before the officer breached her home.
“It was just like, loud yelling, just like really loud,” she testified at a Dec. 6 hearing, saying she could not make out what the suspect was saying. “And while I was on the phone with the [911 operator], you know how it sounds like a knock when someone is knocking at your door. It was like vibrations, like really loud. It was like boom, boom, boom.”
Reynolds would eventually make his way inside, threatening the family and hurling racist slurs at them. Halliburton said her dogs tried biting the intruder, who left after he was confronted by her 20-year-old son. Before leaving, however, Reynolds reportedly warned that he was “going to shoot y’all n—-s.”
“He’s like this is my motherf—–g house, this is my motherf—–g house,” Halliburton recalled the officer saying.
Part of the break-in was also caught on a home surveillance system, and a man is heard yelling, “Try to shoot me, I’ll break every bone in your f—–g neck … You f—–g n—-r.”
At his December sentencing, Reynolds explained he had been drinking that night and had no recollection of using the slur or bursting into Halliburton’s house. He later apologized to Halliburton and her family for the ordeal.
“It was honestly an accident,” he said, according to court transcripts. “I had no intention of getting that intoxicated that night. If I could take it back, I definitely would have never came to that bachelor party.”
During her testimony, Halliburton that when she and a neighbor confronted the officer and his friends the day after the incident, they laughed it off and claimed “immunity” as officers when she threatened to call police.
Reynolds was arrested days later and is expected to begin his sentence Jan. 15, 2020.