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Man Sues City for $1 Million After Mounted Police Arrested and Led Him by a Rope Through the Streets

The other shoe dropped in the case of Donald Neely. The Texas man sued the city of Galveston, Texas in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday, according to The Galveston County Daily News.

The complaint stems from a August 3, 2019 incident, in which he was arrested, handcuffed, and led on foot by two police officers on horseback. Neely, who was homeless at the time, had been taken into custody for trespassing, officers said.

“This is going to look really bad,” one of the cops, Patrick Brosch, told colleague Amanda Smith in bodycam footage.

Neely is Black. The officers are white. Imagery of the arrest evoked slavery. Even the police department acknowledged it was a bad decision to lead Neely around like that. Officers said that the technique of “using mounted horses to transport a person during an arrest” is considered best practice in situations like crowd control.

“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 Police Chief Vernon L. Hale, III on August 5, 2019. “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.”

Prosecutors dropped the trespassing case after they said Neely sought mental health treatment. In his lawsuit, Neely asserted damages for mental anguish.

“Neely felt as though he was put on display as slaves once were,” the complaint stated. “He suffered from fear because one of the horses was acting dangerously, putting Neely in fear of being drug down the street by a run-away horse.”

Galveston officials declined to comment to Click 2 Houston.

[Screengrab via KHOU]

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