Texas police who led black man down street by rope will not face criminal probe

Clark Mindock

Police officers who led a handcuffed African American man down a street with a rope on horseback will not be subjected to a criminal probe in the state, despite widespread outrage after images of the incident were shared online.

The decision was announced on Friday by the Texas Rangers, who said in a statement that an initial investigation found “nothing that warranted a criminal investigation”.

The Galveston Police Department officers were seen riding horseback on 3 August, with 43-year-old Donald Neely being led with a rope clipped to his handcuffs.

The officers, identified as P Brosch and A Smith, had arrested Mr Neely on a misdemeanour criminal trespassing charge.

“What they did was real inhumane,” Neely’s brother, Andy Neely, told local TV station KPRC. “They treated my brother as if he was a dog.”

Despite the decision by the Texas Rangers, the incident drew outrage, and forced Galveston Police chief Vernon L Hale to issue an apology, saying his officers had caused the man an “unnecessary embarrassment”.

Mr Hale then asked the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Ranger Division to investigate the incident.

But, in a statement, the Texas Rangers said that they had discussed the issue with the Galveston County District Attorney’s office, and they had determined the officers “had not violated the law”.

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“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,” Mr Hale said in a statement after the incident drew national attention on social media.

The Neely family has requested that body camera footage from the two officers be released.