A Black man is suing a Texas city for $1 million after he was tied to police on horseback during an arrest

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donald neely.JPG
Galveston police officer Amanda Smith secures Donald Neely with a rope after she and officer Patrick Brosch arrested the homeless man for criminal trespass in Galveston, Texas, U.S. August 3, 2019, in a still image from video released October 2, 2019. Galveston Police Department/Handout via REUTERS

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A homeless Black man whose handcuffs were attached to a rope while police were riding on horseback during an arrest last year is suing Galveston, Texas for $1million, according to KPRC.

According to his lawsuit, Donald Neely was arrested for trespassing in August of last year and said the incident resulted in "embarrassment, humiliation, and fear," KPRC reported.

"Neely felt as though he was put on display as slaves once were," the lawsuit said. "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."

Following Neely's 2019 arrest, the Galveston Police Department's Police Chief Vernon L. Hale issued an apology for how the situation was handled by officers P. Brosch and A. Smith.

"First and foremost I must apologize to Mister Neely for the unnecessary embarrassment. 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. 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," Chief Hale said in a 2019 press release.

Footage of the incident circulated on social media and sparked outrage and criticism about the way Neely— who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was young— was escorted by the officers.

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"Especially being African-American. Not that we lived in that day and time, but we all studied. We know the history, and to think in 2019 they saw fit to treat him like they would have treated us back then, it's just very disturbing," Neely's sister-in-law told KTRK-TV.

Neely wants a trial by jury for his case, according to ABC News.

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