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Galveston officers on horseback seen leading handcuffed man with rope

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Posted at 1:09 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 22:35:12-04

GALVESTON, Tx — A picture that is making its way around social media has the Galveston Police Department answering questions.

The photo is showing a man being led by officers on horses, using a rope.

KTRK shared some of the comments from the post.

"You don't even do a dog like that," said Sherri Kelly, visiting the island from Spring. "I don't care. That's inhumane."

"Where were they walking him to and why did they rope him if he was handcuffed? I don't think it's right," Cynthia Orise of Galveston said.

"The optics on this are terrible," wrote D. Alexander on Facebook. "Looks like an 1840s slave patrol."

"No problem here. [Police] used what they have to make the arrest," said Jose Hernandez. "Don't do the crime if you don't want to be treated wrong."

Galveston Police say the man, Donald Neely, was arrested for criminal trespass. He was handcuffed and a line was then clipped to the handcuffs from the horse. Neely was then led to where the Mounted Patrol Unit was staged.

Officers were familiar with Neely and knew that he had been warned against trespassing at the location several times.

The Police Department said in a Facebook post that "A transportation unit was not immediately available at the time of the arrest and a man was handcuffed and escorted beside two police officers on horses. While this technique of using mounted horses to transport a person during an arrest is considered a best practice in certain scenarios, such as during crowd control, the practice was not the correct use for this instance."

Today the Galvston Police Chief released the following statement:

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