Bodycam video of Texas cops who led black man by rope through Galveston streets released: 'This is going to look really bad'
Bodycam footage of two Texas cops who led a mentally ill African American man through the streets by rope as they rode alongside on horseback was released on Wednesday.
On August 3, 43-year-old Donald Neely was arrested by Galveston officers Patrick Brosch and Amanda Smith on a charge of criminal trespass before they decided to take him to the local police station on foot as there were no patrol cars nearby, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Authorities decided to release 36 minutes of footage from both the officers' cameras to explain how events unfolded after facing a huge backlash for their decision.
In the video, Brosch and Smith are seen tying a rope around Neely's handcuffs after restraining him. They subsequently order him to walk alongside their horses as they make their way to the police station.
Smith is heard suggesting they should walk him to the station house, to which Brosch says, "We've just gotta do what we've gotta do."
The officers appear to realize their decision to lead Neely by rope might backfire on them. "This is going to look really bad!" Brosch is subsequently heard saying.
Footage and photographs of the incident went viral online and sparked nationwide protests, with several accusing the officers of being racist.
Following the outrage, Texas Rangers conducted their own independent investigation of the arrest. They concluded the two officers did not deserve to face disciplinary action.
The Galveston County Sheriff's Office also examined the police department's training, policies, and practices. However, a report is yet to be released.
Galveston Police Chief Vernon Hale, who will try to determine if any further action is necessary, said both officers "could have waited for a transport unit at the location of the arrest" but had displayed "poor judgment" by leading Neely through the streets in that manner.
The Galveston Police Department gave an explanation on Facebook after the arrest caused national outrage. "While this technique of using mounted horses to transport a person during an arrest is considered a best practice in certain scenarios, such as during crowd control, the practice was not the correct use for this instance," they wrote.