- Adrienne Bell
- Galveston Police Department’s police chief Vernon L. Hale, III, apologized after two white officers on horseback were photographed leading a handcuffed black man through the streets with a rope.
- Hale said the officers “showed poor judgment” in the arrest of 43-year-old Donald Neely.
- After two mounted police officers arrested Neely on criminal trespassing charges on Saturday, they clipped Neely’s handcuffs to a rope to transport him to a police station instead of waiting for alternative transport.
- A photo of the arrest drew criticism online by many, including civil rights organizations like the Anti-Defamation League.
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A Texas police chief apologized after two white officers on horseback were photographed leading a handcuffed black man through the streets by a rope.
Galveston Police Department’s police chief Vernon L. Hale, III, said in a statement posted online that the officers “showed poor judgment” in the arrest of 43-year-old Donald Neely.
Neely had been arrested on criminal trespassing charges on Saturday by two mounted police officers.
Officers P. Brosch and A. Smith clipped Neely’s handcuffs to a rope to transport him to a police station instead of waiting for alternative transport, Hale said.
“First and foremost, I must apologize to Mister Neely for this unnecessary embarrassment. Although this is a trained technique and best practice in some scenarios, I believe our officers showed poor judgment in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of the arrest. My officers did not have any malicious intent at the time of the arrest, but we have immediately changed the policy to prevent the use of this technique and will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods,” Hale said of the arrest.
We have verified with law enforcement officials in Galveston, that the photograph taken in Galveston is real. It is hard to understand why these officers felt this young man required a leash, as he was handcuffed and walking between two mounted officers. pic.twitter.com/bEFZnn4qmH
— Adrienne Bell (@AdrBell) August 5, 2019
A photo of the arrest drew criticism online by many, including civil rights organization like the Anti-Defamation League.
Gail Glasser, the ADL’s interim southwest regional director, call the arrest “disturbing and offensive” to the Houston Chronicle.
“Although Police Chief Vernon Hale III has apologized, the department’s actions have fallen short.”
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke was among those who criticized the arrest, calling it “racism at work.”
Leon Phillips, president of the Galveston Coalition for Justice, said he hopes the officers involved are disciplined.
“With the climate in the country today, I would hate to see, six months or three years down the road, what kind of judgment these same officers would make in a worse scenario,” Phillips told The Chronicle.
“I believe the way they handled him was disgusting,” she said. “The family is offended. The family is upset.”
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