A police department in Texas reversed its policy Monday after pictures hit the media displaying two white officers on horses leading a black man in handcuffs by a rope.
A Democrat who is contesting for Congress in 2020, Adrienne Bell posted the pictures on twitter exposing one of the mounted Galveston police officers holding a rope connected to handcuffs held behind the man’s back.
“It is hard to understand why these officers felt this young man required a leash, as he was handcuffed and walking between two mounted officers,” Bell said in a statement. “It is a scene that has invoked anger, disgust and questions from the community.”
According to the Galveston Police Department, the officers, recognized as P. Brosch and A. Smith, caught Donald Neely, 43, for criminal trespass on Saturday.
“A transportation unit was not immediately available at the time of the arrest,” said a statement from the department. So Neely “was handcuffed and a line was clipped to the handcuffs,” and the officer clutched the other end of the line, leading Neely.
The officers were “familiar” with Neely, and he had been warned about trespassing, the statement said. He was led on the rope about two blocks to “where the Mounted Patrol Unit was staging from.”
The method of handcuffing someone and escorting them between two mounted officers is usually used in volatile situations, like crowd control.
“The practice was not used correctly in this instance,” the police statement said.
Bell stated she would soon invite law enforcement heads to a city hall meeting so they could face the concerns of community members.