KEY POINTS

  • Michael Reynolds kicked down the door of an innocent family in 2018, drunkenly mistaking their house for his and threatening them for eight minutes, shouting racial epithets
  • He resigned in disgrace, was criminally sentenced to 15 days in prison and three weeks probation, and now must pay $1 million in a civil suit
  • Reynolds has declared bankruptcy and is unlikely to pay the full amount. The family has needed to start a crowdfunding campaign to pay for their legal fees

A federal judge in Tennessee on Monday approved a $1 million civil judgment against a former New York City police officer who in July 2018 broke into a Black family's home in Nashville and terrorized them and used racial slurs. 

Michael Reynolds traveled with other officers to celebrate a bachelor party, staying in the house next door to Conese Halliburton. When he returned that night, Reynolds mistook their home for the one he had been renting on AirBnb. 

He kicked in their door and began shouting at them. Security cameras recorded him shouting slurs at Halliburton and her sons. He only left when he was informed that the police were on their way.

“Try to shoot me, and I'll break every [expletive] bone in your [expletive] neck," he shouted before calling them the n-word.

When Reynolds was confronted about it the next day, he seemed unrepentant, apologizing but smiling. Another officer said, “We‘re police from New York. You don't need to make a big deal about it. We were just drinking.”

Reynolds resigned after national outrage over the incident. He was convicted in court and sentenced to 15 days in jail with three weeks probation.

NYPD A police car sits in front of One World Trade at ground zero in Manhattan, New York City, March 20, 2017. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A separate civil suit from Halliburton also found him at fault, producing the $1 million penalties announced Wednesday. It’s unlikely that Reynolds will pay the full amount, as he’s declared bankruptcy. Halliburton was forced to start a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the legal expenses stemming from the incident. Still, she’s not done with him yet.

"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 Halliburton’s attorney. "We are certainly pleased with this development, but we also aren't finished here."