Police in Galveston, Texas, released body cam footage Wednesday after outcry when officers tied up and led a mentally ill black man through the streets during a horseback arrest.
Authorities arrested Donald Neely, 43, in August for criminal trespassing, and a photo from the arrest showed two officers on horseback leading Neely. He was tied up and walked alongside the horses. Officers’ conduct was within training guidelines, but the incident sparked national outcry because of comparisons to slavery.
Officers can be heard talking about how badly the arrest would be seen by the public, according to video footage of the event, which runs around 30 minutes. Neely walked for six blocks while tethered to a rope, ABC13 Houston reported.
“Stay next to me or I’m going to drag you,” one officer said according to the video. Another officer added, “I want less eyesight. This is going to look so bad.” (RELATED: Man Killed By Police, Causing Riots In Memphis, Was Wanted For Shooting Of Mississippi Man)
“This is gonna look really bad,” an officer said.
Galveston Police Chief Vernon L. Hale said in August that the practice was normal, but added that officers “showed poor judgement in this instance.”
“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,” Hale said according to CBS News.
Neely used to be homeless according to CBS News, and his family demanded body cam footage be released after the arrest. The officers involved weren’t disciplined, but the Galveston Police Department discontinued the method of arrest.
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