Texas cops release body cam video of black man tied to horse: ‘It’s gonna look so bad’

Body camera video of Texas cops tying a black man to a police horse and leading him through the city during his arrest were released Wednesday.

Galveston city officials posted the videos from body cams worn by the two police officers involved in the arrest on Facebook and YouTube. Photos and video of the horseback police officers leading Donald Neely, 43, through the streets in August went viral and drew outrage, McClatchy news group reported.

The picture and video of his arrest were compared to “historic images of slavery and Jim Crow-era treatment of black people,” the Galveston County Daily News reported.

The new body cam video shows the officers ride to a property where Neely was sitting to arrest him on charges of criminal trespassing.

“You were asked by the property manager not to come back, ever,” Officer Patrick Brosch said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “You’ve been arrested multiple times for a criminal trespass, and you know that.”

Brosch asks whether they should get a patrol vehicle to take Neely to jail, but Officer Amanda Smith responded that their sergeant would not approve of that. Then Brosch hands a rope to Smith, who tethered Neely to the horse.

The officers helped Neely gather his possessions, including some coins and a welding hat.

“Can you put my welding cap on?” Neely asks while he’s handcuffed. Brosch complies.

“Perfect,” Neely said.

“You’re doing good, Mr. Neely, but we’ve gotta do what we’ve gotta do, too, you know?” Brosch said.

They began riding on the street with Neely walking in between. The officers seemed aware that walking him through the streets while tied to a horse could appear negative.

“It’s gonna look so bad,” Brosch said.

Later, the officers decided to take a street that would have less traffic and people as they walked through downtown Galveston.

“Yeah, I want less eyesight,” Smith said.

The police officers arrived at their horse trailer after a 10-minute walk. A patrol vehicle then arrived to take Neely to the jail.

A decision about whether to discipline the officers will be up to Police Chief Vernon Hale.

“The city supports the chief in any actions he deems to be appropriate,” City Manager Brian Maxwell said in a news release. “However, if the investigation identifies deficiencies in department policies or practices those will be addressed directly with the chief.”

The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office completed a review of the arrest, but officials haven’t released the findings.

“I appreciate the efforts of Sheriff Henry Trochesset and thank the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office for taking the time to perform a thorough, independent review of the arrest,” Hale said in the news release. “I am studying the report now and will use its findings to make decisions in the near future about the next steps for the department.”

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October 2, 2019 at 07:12PM