Where are FBI Officers R. Wallace Taylor and Justin C. Garrick Now?

HBO’s ‘Reality’ brings the real-life interrogation of Reality Winner by two FBI agents on the screen. The dialogue in the film is verbatim from the transcript, which details the interview that took place in Winner’s home, where the officers got her to confess to smuggling a classified document out of an NSA facility and leaking it to an online news outlet. The entire conversation between Winner and the FBI agents feels like a chase where she tries not to say anything incriminating while the officers try to get the truth out of her by making her feel that a safe space has been provided to her to confess.

Despite taking place in one location, the film creates a charged atmosphere that keeps the audience on edge, which can mainly be attributed to officers — R. Wallace Taylor and Justin C. Garrick — pushing Winner while trying to be subtle.

Where is FBI Agent R. Wallace Taylor Now?

R. Wallace “Wally” Taylor is based in Quantico, Virginia, at the moment, where he proudly serves as a Supervisory Special Agent for the FBI. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, he has a Master’s in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration. He served as a Police Sergeant from 1994 to 2003 in Newberry, South Carolina, as a Patrol Sergeant and Narcotics Investigator. He joined the FBI in 2003 as a Special Agent and was posted in Gainesville, Florida. He then lived and worked in Atlanta, Georgia, for a few years before coming to Augusta in 2015. He briefly served as a supervisory special agent in the Crisis Management Unit and Critical Incident Response Group in Quantico before getting assigned to work both national security and criminal investigations. Now, he’s a supervisor again but in the Operational Technology Division.

In ‘Reality,’ the filmmakers decided to keep all the dialogue from the film true to the transcript. All the scenes surrounding it are designed with the transcript in mind. This keeps the movie accurate to what happened in reality. However, there is a significant difference in the portrayal of Agent Taylor. In the film, Marchant Davis, a black actor, plays the role. In real life, the FBI agent is a white man.

Talking about why Agent Taylor’s race was changed in the movie and how it impacts the interrogation, Davis said: “I think by putting a Black body into that space, you sort of open up a different perspective on the scene; he has a need and desire to do his job well, without failure, without fault. He probably hasn’t spent 15 years with the bureau; his want and desire to press Reality might come across a little differently. He can play the bad cop because he’s just trying to excel; he wants to crack the code before this other guy.”

Davis, who was previously meant to portray the same role in Tina Satter’s play ‘Is This A Room,’ found that the change allowed him to add his own layer to the character. “I knew when I signed on that the real Wally Taylor was like, ‘a 40-something white guy with a beer belly’, is the way Reality described him. Part of that is a bit liberating in the sense that I could look at this through a different lens,” he said.

Where is FBI Agent Justin C. Garrick Now?

Special Agent Justin Garrick has been at the FBI since 2008. He was assigned to the Atlanta division when the interrogation and arrest of Reality Winner took place in 2017. A reported specialist in counterintelligence and espionage investigations at the moment, Garrick is a highly trained officer, “familiar with efforts used to unlawfully collect and disseminate sensitive government information, including national defense information.” This expertise came in handy when he interviewed Winner at her house.

Following the interrogation, Garrick wrote an affidavit detailing the nature of the crime, the circumstances surrounding the interrogation, and how the FBI found out about Winner’s involvement in the leak. The FBI was notified about the contact from The Intercept about the leaked classified document on June 1, 2017. An analysis of the paper on which Winner printed the classified information and mailed it to the news outlet led them to her. The list of suspects was narrowed down to six, but only Winner had contact with The Intercept.

When the FBI agents showed up at Winner’s house, they kept her at ease with small talk about mundane things. Garrick took the lead and bonded with Winner over things like taking care of rescue dogs and the injuries they got during CrossFit sessions. An analysis of the conversation has led some to deduce that this was just a part of the trick used by the officers to get a person to trust them. One of the briefs describes the interrogation as “exceedingly friendly,” where the voices were kept at a “conversational level.” Garrick and Taylor carried “no visible weapon” to appear unthreatening, which would have made Winner loosen up and talk to them, skipping over the fact that she hadn’t been Mirandised.

Read More: Where is Reality Winner Now?