A Texas police chief apologized after a photo of two horse-mounted officers escorting a handcuffed black man through the street in Galveston, Texas went viral last weekend.
— FOX26Houston (@FOX26Houston) August 6, 2019
The man was reportedly being led back to the location of the Mounted Patrol Unit’s staging area. (RELATED: Man Killed By Police, Causing Riots In Memphis, Was Wanted For Shooting Of Mississippi Man)
The man was arrested for criminal trespass and had been warned against trespassing in the location multiple times, according to a Galveston Police Department press release posted on Facebook.
“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,” the press release stated.
“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. 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,” Chief Vernon L. Hale, III stated in the press release.
“We understand the negative perception of this action and believe it is most appropriate to cease the use of this technique,” the release continued. (RELATED: At Least 24 Officers Injured Amid Protests After Police Killed A Black Man In Tennessee)
Many Twitter users voiced their concerns after the photo went viral.
This is just sickening and uncalled for.
This young black man was put on a leash while handcuffed between two mounted horses in Galveston, Texas.
This invokes painful imagery of slave catchers and runaway enslaved Africans. pic.twitter.com/ZHEmyCYbUE
— zellie (@zellieimani) August 6, 2019
OMG! This is sickening!
“Galveston police are apologizing after a dramatic photo circulated online showing horse-mounted officers leading a handcuffed man of color by what appears to be a rope.”https://t.co/lK2bhlApda
— Amy Siskind ????️???? (@Amy_Siskind) August 6, 2019
Horse-mounted policemen shamelessly parading a Black man handcuffed & hitched to their horse by rope down the streets of #Galveston is bad policy & bad policing. Mr. President, is this what you meant on 7/28/2017 when you told police “don’t be too nice” when arresting people?
— Congressman Al Green (@RepAlGreen) August 6, 2019
The Galveston Coalition for Justice President, Leon Phillips, also expressed his concern about the photo. Phillips saw a resemblance between the photo posted and racist photos from the 1920s, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The photo was first posted by a Galveston resident, Eric Toberman, according to Daily News.