Two white policemen in Texas spark outrage after being pictured on horseback leading a black man through the streets by a rope
The Galveston Police, on Monday, issued an apology after critics noted an apparent connotation of slavery to the way the man was apprehended.
GALVESTON, TEXAS: Two white policemen in Texas sparked outraged after a picture of them on horseback leading a black man through the street by a rope emerged on social media on Saturday.
The Galveston Police, on Monday, issued an apology after critics noted an apparent connotation of slavery and civil right issues to the way the man was apprehended.
The viral photograph, taken by someone from inside a car, showed 43-year-old Donald Neely being taken by officers Patrick Brosch and A. Smith from 306 22nd St to the Mounted Patrol Unit on 21st and Market.
The police department later clarified saying that although it may have appeared that Neely's wrists were tied with the rope, he was in fact handcuffed and the line was attached to the cuffs. Authorities said that they were familiar with Neely who had been reprimanded for trespassing in the area before. They also added that officers gave him multiple warning before using the rope to walk him.
The department said that the officers involved in the incident are not facing disciplinary action and were wearing body cameras at the time.
Soon after the outrage, Neely's sister-in-law, Christin Neely, took to Facebook on Monday to write that her brother is a "homeless and mentally ill" father of eight children.
"Imagine that YOU are aware that living on the streets is dangerous, unsanitary, makes you a target for crime/law enforcement and isolates you from your family but YOU CAN'T make that relative understand that despite your many efforts," Christin wrote. "Imagine searching the streets of a city for days looking for your loved one, to no avail. Have any of you ever went to breakfast, lunch and dinner at the local homeless shelters hoping you'd find your loved one having a meal with hopes to kidnap them and bring them home," according to the Daily Mail.
"Imagine locating your loved one, getting them in your car and they jump out of your moving vehicle to keep you from taking them from where they now call home. Just imagine for one second being 1 of his 8 children who have been fatherless for years and your father isn't incarcerated or dead," she continued in her post.
Christin added that she only found out about the incident after she saw his image being circulated on social media and called the cops who arrested him "incompetent."
"Imagine scrolling fb and seeing said loved one being escorted to jail on foot by 2 officers on horses, hands cuffed behind his back with a rope attached. In 2019????" Christin wrote in the post. "He was treated like an animal paraded through the streets by two incompetent a**holes!"
"I have read some of the most hateful and insensitive comments in concern to the incident involving my BIL Donald Neely's recent arrest by GPD. People don't even understand the depth of mental illness and how it affects the person and their family. WE HAVE TRIED AND ARE CONTINUOUSLY TRYING TO BRING HIM HOME! Please continue to pray for my family!" she added.
The mother of one of Neely's children, Terry Cotton, also commented on the viral image and said that he was treated like a "dog or slave."
"I may not speak to him daily. Hell its been years since I have. But he is still my child’s father and this has broke my heart. He is not a threat to any he is very kind hearted and would help anyone.No on deserve to b threaten in this manner.He is not a dog r slave they have went to far. I pray he is ok and the police that did this r fired," she wrote.
The police department, in its apology, noted that although the method used by the two officers is described as a "trained technique and best practice in some scenarios, [it] showed poor judgment," and "a transportation unit was not immediately available at the time of the arrest."
The department, however, added that the officers did not have malicious intent.