Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Horse-Mounted White Officers Knew It Looked ‘Really Bad’ to Lead Black Man by Rope During Arrest

Donald Neely being led through Galveston streets by mounted officers.

*Galveston police have released bodycam video from the two horse-mounted white officers who led a mentally-ill Black man down the street by a rope with his hands cuffed behind him.

The video’s release follows national outrage over how Donald Neely, 43, was handled during his August 3 arrest for misdemeanor criminal trespassing. “This is going to look really bad!” Officer Patrick Brosch can be heard telling Officer Amanda Smith in the footage that October 2, per BET.com

The officers claim there were no police vehicles in the area at the time to properly transport Neely to the precinct.

“We’ve just gotta do what we’ve gotta do,” Brosch can be heard telling Neely.

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After an image of Neely being escorted down the street by the two officers went viral, Galveston Police Chief, Vernon Hale, issued the following statement: “First and foremost I must apologize to Mr. Neely for this unnecessary embarrassment,” he said. “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.”

The department said it changed the policy so the technique will never be used again, Complex reported. “[We] will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods,” Hale added

Donald’s sister-in-law also addressed the incident back in August, saying he is mentally ill, homeless, and that he “gets arrested often for trespassing.”

Adrienne Bell, a Democrat running for Congress in 2020, shared the image on Facebook, writing: “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. It is a scene that has invoked anger, disgust, and questions from the community.”

The police statement said officers Brosch and Smith lead Neely eight blocks away from where he was arrested.

Protestors accused the officers of being racist and Texas Rangers were called in to investigate the handling of the arrest.

“The Rangers subsequently conferred with the Galveston County District Attorney’s office, which determined that there was nothing that warranted a criminal investigation,” Chief Vernon Hale said in August shortly after the incident occurred.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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