A Nashville woman is alleging in a $5 million lawsuit that a former New York City police officer broke into her home, threatened her and yelled racial slurs in a drunken rage.
ABC News reports that Conese Halliburton, who is Black, filed a federal lawsuit against Michael Reynolds, who is white, on Wednesday (Jan. 15).
According to the lawsuit, Halliburton is accusing Reynolds of charges including assault, trespassing and emotional distress, ABC News reports.
In the lawsuit, Halliburton states that Reynold kicked in the door of her home and screamed that he would “break every f******* bone” in her neck and called her and her children the N-word, ABC News reports.
Reynolds was reportedly visiting Nashville for a bachelor party in 2018 when the incident occurred, according to the lawsuit, ABC News reports.
"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, ABC News reports. "Upon leaving Ms. Halliburton's home, a companion of Officer Reynolds yelled out and asked him: 'Did you make her strip?'"
In connection with the July 2018 incident, Reynolds was convicted on charges of assault and criminal trespassing.
According to court records, ABC News reports, Reynolds was sentenced to 15 days in jail and three years’ probation in December after pleading no contest to four misdemeanors.
Reynolds said he entered Halliburton’s home by mistake, thinking it was his rental property, according to court testimony.
He also testified that he and his friends had been drinking before the incident and he could not remember how much he drank, ABC News reports.
During his sentencing last month, ABC News reports that Halliburton said that her and her children were left traumatized by the incident.
"My kids want to move. They don't want to be in that house anymore," she said, according to ABC News. "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."
Halliburton added, "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 on going.”
According to the lawsuit, Halliburton is seeking punitive damages of $3.75 million and compensatory damages of $1.25 million, ABC News reports.
Reynolds resigned from the New York City Police Department earlier this month, following an online petition calling for his firing in support of Halliburton, which was signed by more than 10,000 people, according to ABC News.
"He will receive no pension or health benefits, nor will he be allowed to carry a firearm," the NYPD said in a statement after the resignation, ABC News reports. "His actions are wholly inconsistent with the values and standards the New York City Police Department expects and demands of its officers."
In a statement to ABC News, Halliburton’s attorney, Daniel Horwitz said, "Ms. Halliburton hopes that ex-officer Reynolds has had some time to consider the consequences of his actions while serving his jail sentence. She also intends to continue pursuing this matter until Mr. Reynolds and the other officers who helped him try to cover up his egregious and criminal misconduct are held fully accountable."
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