Texas Cops Paraded a Black Man Through the Streets by a Rope

Galveston, TX, police officers identified Brosch and Smith arresting Donald Neely, who they escorted to the police station with a rope and handcuffs while both officers were riding horseback.
Photo: shaunking/Twitter

Texas once again has renewed its bid for Most Racist State in the U.S. after a pair of Galveston, TX, police officers on horseback arrested a black man and walked him through the town to the station by a rope.

According to the Associated Press, the Galveston police chief apologized on Monday after two of the department’s officers, identified only as P. Brosch and A. Smith, were photographed on Saturday walking a man they arrested, identified as 43 year old Donald Neely, down a street with a rope behind Neely’s back. Brosch and Smith were both on horseback, making the public shaming feel even more racist.

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In a statement posted to Facebook, Chief Vernon Hale wrote Neely had been arrested for criminal trespass but apologized to him for the “unnecessary embarrassment” during the arrest. Vernon also clarified the rope seen in the photo wasn’t directly tied to Neely’s hands, but was “clipped” to his handcuffs. Speaking of ropes that “clip,” the rope seen in the photo looks a lot like a leash to me, with a hand loop at the end, but what do I know.

In the statement, the chief also said the officers arrested Neely just around the block from where he was being led (though the Houston Chronicle reported it was eight blocks) and that Neely had been warned “several times” about trespassing at the location where he was arrested.

“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,” Vernon said in his statement. “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.”

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Phew, good to know that the cops involved didn’t mean to create a racist reenactment of slavery in Texas. What a relief!

Melissa Morris, Neely’s attorney, told Texas station KPRC that Neely has bipolar disorder and is homeless and that his family had been looking for him for years. Morris also said she’s looking at all legal options. Splinter reached out to Morris for comment and will update this post when we receive a response.

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“I believe the way they handled him was disgusting,” Morris told the station. “The family is offended. The family is upset.”

Leon Phillips, president of the Galveston Coalition for Justice, wondered to the Houston Chronicle why the cops involved didn’t just wait for a cruiser to take Neely to the station.

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“All I know is that these are two white police officers on horseback with a black man walking him down the street with a rope tied to the handcuffs, and that’s doesn’t make sense, period,” Phillips told the paper. “And I do understand this —if it was a white man, I guarantee it wouldn’t have happened.”

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About the author

Samantha Grasso

Splinter Staff Writer, Texan