Chief Apologizes After Horseback Officers Lead Man by Rope

Chief Vernon Hale said “this is a trained technique and best practice in some scenarios,” such as with crowd control.

  • Published 7 August 2019

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Galveston’s police chief is apologizing after two of his officers, mounted on horseback, led a handcuffed trespassing suspect by a rope through downtown streets.

Photos of the arrest went viral on social media. The two white officers linked the rope to handcuffs worn by 43-year-old criminal trespass suspect Donald Neely and led him around the block to a mounted patrol staging area. Neely is black.

In a statement, Police Chief Vernon Hale said “this is a trained technique and best practice in some scenarios,” such as with crowd control. However, he said he believes his officers “showed poor judgment in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of arrest.” He said his department has “immediately changed the policy” to prevent use of the technique.

Neely is free on bond. He has no listed telephone number and couldn’t be reached for comment.

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