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Outrage over an image showing two White police officers on a horse leading a Black man in handcuffs and a leash has resulted in the department issuing an apology.

The two officers were of the Galveston Police Department in Texas and can be seen leading the man down the street, with many stating the visual is similar to the slavery era.

Adrienne Bell, a Democratic candidate for the 14th District Congressional seat in Texas, shared the image on social media, citing that the image has “invoked anger, disgust, and questions from the community” and she would be waiting for a statement from the Galveston Police. the statement did arrive.


A press release from the Galveston PD revealed the man was Donald Neely and was arrested by Officer P. Brosch and Officer A. Smith for Criminal Trespassing. The release also states that while Neely was handcuffed, he was no on a leash, instead, he was clipped to a line as he was being led to the staging area for the Mounted Patrol Unit.

Accompanying the release was a statement from Police Chief Vernon L. Hale III.

“First and foremost I must apologize to Mister Neely for the unnecessary embarrassment. Although this is a trained technique and best practice in some scenario, I believe our officers showed poor judgment in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location fo 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 appropriate methods.”

Bell responded with “I applaud the Chief’s swift action in the discontinuance of the transport techniques in the arrest of Mr. Neely. I agree with Chief Hale that poor judgment was assessed in the transportation of Mr. Neely.

“For many in the community, and across our area, questions about transparency, community policing in the community and accountability still remain.”

However, the damage is done with the images with many referring to the incident as “dehumanizing.”

The full statement from Bell is available below.