A black man led by a mounted cop with handcuffs and a rope? You can guess what happened next, can’t you?
In Galveston Texas, cops were dealing with a man that had been warned several times about trespassing and was being arrested for criminal trespass. As it happens, the man was also bipolar, homeless, resisting efforts to help him and his family had been looking for him for several years.
Mr. Neely is a father of 8 who was considered mentally sound until being diagnosed as bipolar about 10 years ago. You might say this was a ‘complicated’ case.
Mounted cops were not far from the staging area where Mr. Neely was to be transported. Reports vary from one block to ‘a couple’ of blocks.
Officers on horseback followed an official protocol of how to transport such a detainee — handcuffs worn, with a rope connecting the cuffs to the horse he’s walking beside/behind.
“First and foremost I must apologize to Mister Neely for this unnecessary embarrassment,” he said in the statement. “Although this is a trained technique and best practice in some scenarios, I believe our officers showed poor judgement in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of the arrest.”
…[president of the Galveston Coalition for Justice Leon] Phillips also said the image reminded him of racist images from the 1920s. He said he didn’t know the officers personally, but the optics of the photo was shocking.
“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,” he said. “And I do understand this — if it was a white man, I guarantee it wouldn’t have happened.”
He ‘knows’ that, does he? Think it through. If it had even occurred to these cops that it would have been viewed with the racial overtones seen since the photo went viral, do you think they would have walked him alongside the horse in broad daylight like this?
Don’t the police get enough racially-charged grief as it is? Does anyone really believe they are going to willingly heap more on themselves? That they’re going to willingly risk suspension or firing?
The Chief began by saying that this was a ‘trained technique’ — one that is on the menu of legitimate (i.e. ‘trained) ways to get someone they’ve detained from point A to point B.
The photo of him being walked in this fashion went viral, and people became predictably upset.
You guessed it:
In Galveston, TX, police arrested Donald Neely, handcuffed him, attached a rope to his cuffs and paraded him around town while mounted on horses. We don’t need the full story. We white folks have been doing it since the first thought of superiority of skin flashed in a white mind pic.twitter.com/H3Bw2G1VRq
— Jim Corcoran (@JimCorc) August 6, 2019
Such outraged responses were pretty typical on social media.
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