Two police officers who led a mentally ill black man through the street with a rope will not be charged for their controversial actions.
Officers P. Brosch and A. Smith faced backlash earlier this month after images emerged online showing 43-year-old Donald Neely being led behind the two police horses in Galveston, Texas.
Neely had been arrested for criminal trespassing close to a private property, after having allegedly been warned several times not to trespass there, but instead of waiting for a transportation vehicle the two white officers tied the rope to Neely’s handcuffs and forced him to walk for approximately eight blocks.
The 43-year-old has reportedly been diagnosed with bipolar and paranoid schizophrenia.
Galveston Police Department issued an apology following the incident and, according to ABC, last week the Texas Ranger Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office agreed to conduct a third-party investigation into the arrest.
The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office is also conducting an independent investigation.
Lieutenant Craig Cummings, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety, released a statement on Friday following the conclusion of the joint investigation.
At the request of the Galveston Police Department, the Texas Rangers conducted an inquiry into this matter, which has since been completed.
The Rangers subsequently conferred with the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office, which determined there was nothing that warranted a criminal investigation.
What you did here to this man, Donald Neely, is horrible and unacceptable.
I would say "We need answers," but nothing you can say would ever justify what you did to this man. Nothing at all. pic.twitter.com/OdVeqrFDcv
— Shaun King (@shaunking) August 6, 2019
Earlier this week the Neely family held a press conference during which they demanded police release body camera footage from the time of Neely’s arrest.
Neely’s younger brother, Andy, described the 43-year-old as a ‘loving, kind person [who] wouldn’t harm a fly.’
The way the officers treated him, it just ain’t right… They dehumanised my brother on the streets.
Why would they do that after several encounters with him? It was just to humiliate him. No man, no women, black, brown, purple, should be embarrassed the way my brother was.
This man’s name is Donald Neely. The cops are Officer Brosch & Officer Smith from the Galveston Police Department. They put a leash on him and paraded him through downtown.
THIS IS NOT OKAY pic.twitter.com/y7Ml9WFkK5
— Natasha Del Riego (@natashaaa__) August 6, 2019
Galveston Police Chief Vernon L. Hale, III said the technique used during Neely’s arrest ‘is considered a best practice in certain scenarios’ but he admitted it ‘was not the correct use for this instance’.
He added the department had changed the policy to prevent the use of the technique and that they ‘will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods’.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to [email protected]
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.