Galveston PD releases statement after viral photo shows police leading black man in cuffs by rope

GALVESTON – The Galveston Police Department issued a statement regarding the photo that has recently been circulating around social media appearing to show two mounted patrol officers leading an arrested suspect down the street by a rope.

“We became aware Monday afternoon of a post circulating about a Saturday arrest involving two mounted patrol officers and how the arrested individual was transported,” said Galveston PD.

According to GPD, the detainee, identified as Donald Neely, was arrested for Criminal Trespassing at 306 22nd Street. Neely was handcuffed, and a line was clipped to the handcuffs while the mounted patrol officers led him to 21st and Market, where the Mounted Patrol Unit was staging from, said GPD.

“A transportation unit was not immediately available at the time of the arrest and a man was handcuffed and escorted beside two police officers on horses,” stated the Galveston Police Department. “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.”

“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,” said Chief Vernon L. Hale, III. “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.”

The chief added that they believe it is most appropriate to stop using this transportation technique during arrests.

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