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NYPD cop sentenced for break-in and racist tirade resigns amid outcry

A New York police officer who was sentenced last month in Tennessee for a racist tirade and break-in at the home of an African American family has resigned from the force, the department said Thursday. Calls for the firing of NYPD officer Michael Reynolds, who is white, have grown since he was sentenced December 6 in the rampage at the Nashville home in 2018, with an online petition drawing more than 12,000 signatures. 

Reynolds pleaded no contest to charges of aggravated criminal trespassing and assault for breaking into the home near the Airbnb where he was staying and yelling racist slurs and threats at Conese Halliburton and her four sons, reported the Tennessean. Halliburton's youngest sons were reportedly 8 and 11 at the time. The rampage was captured on a neighbor's surveillance video, the paper reports.

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Michael Reynolds WTVF

Reynolds was sentenced to 15 days in jail and three years of probation. Halliburton has also called for the NYPD to terminate Reynolds, who had remained employed by the department on modified duty as the incident was under internal review.

Reynolds, 26, was informed December 30 that he was to report to police headquarters for the commencement of an official disciplinary process on January 2 but quit instead, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Devora Kaye said in a statement released to CBS News on Thursday. Kaye said the resignation is effective immediately.

"He will receive no pension or health benefits, nor will he be allowed to carry a firearm," the statement said. "His actions are wholly inconsistent with the values and standards the New York City Police Department expects and demands of its officers."

Halliburton reportedly testified that she was in bed when she heard someone break into her home around 2:30 in the morning in July of 2018, and immediately called 911. She said Reynolds, who was visiting Nashville and staying nearby with a group for a bachelor party, called her and her family "f--king n---ers" and threatened to "break every f---ing bone in your f---ing neck." The paper reports he charged at Halliburton and only left the home when she told him police were on the way.

Reynolds reportedly testified he had been drinking and didn't remember the rampage.

Tennessee criminal court judge Mark Fishburn called Reynolds' actions "abhorrent" and "repugnant" at his sentencing, the Tennessean reported.

"I'm not sure what might have happened had she not been on the phone with police," Fishburn said. "The main thing is this not be swept under the rug. The kind of conduct that occurred that night just cannot be tolerated under any circumstances."

Erin Donaghue
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Erin Donaghue reports and writes for CBSNews.com on topics including criminal justice, social justice and culture. Follow her on Twitter at @ErinDonaghue.

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