Two Texas police officers who, while riding horseback, tied a rope to a suspect and led him through town behind them, won’t be criminally investigated, ABC News reports.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, on August 3, two Galveston police officers, identified as P. Brosch and A. Smith, were doing horseback patrol in downtown when they arrested a man for trespassing. Donald Neely, 43, had been reportedly told several times to stay away from a certain Galveston location, and police allegedly found him there anyway, so they made an arrest.
However, instead of calling for a patrol car to transport him to the nearest holding facility, eight blocks away, the cops instead tied a rope to Neely and walked him there.
Police Chief Vernon Hale later apologized.
“I must apologize to Mister Neely for this unnecessary embarrassment,” he said.
Last week, the Texas Ranger Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Galveston County Sheriff’s office jointly agreed to have the Rangers conduct an investigation into the incident, to see if the incident warranted a full criminal investigation. After talking things over with the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office, the agencies determined that no full criminal investigation is required at this time.
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) August 6, 2019
However, the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office is still conducting its own investigation into the incident. Whether that investigation is being conducted with a view towards criminal charges for the officers or internal departmental discipline, or both or neither, remains unclear.
Neely’s family, meanwhile, is asking for the Galveston police to hand over the officers’ body camera footage from the incident.
Donald Neely’s younger brother, Andy, describes his brother as a “loving, kind person,” and said he did not deserve to be treated like this.
“Why would they do that after several encounters with him? It was just to humiliate him. No man, no women, black, brown, purple, should be embarrassed the way my brother was,” he said.
The video has also raised the ire of Galveston’s activist community.
James Douglas, president of the Houston chapter of the NAACP, said that the image of a black man being led through town with a rope by two white men calls to mind the specter of lynching and other racist incidents that were not uncommon in some parts of Texas a century ago.
“This is 2019 and not 1819,” he said.
Hale, for his part, has vowed to discontinue the practice of tying suspects with ropes and walking them through town.