A Texas police chief issued an apology to a suspect after photos of two officers leading a black man down a street with a rope attached to his handcuffs went viral.
In a statement posted on Facebook Monday night, Galveston, Texas Police Chief Vernon Hale apologized to Donald Neely, who was arrested for alleged trespassing at a location about a block away from where a mounted patrol unit was staged. According to Hale, the officers — identified as P. Brosch and A Smith — did not have access to a vehicle so they handcuffed him and escorted the suspect while they rode horses beside him, an image, as many on social pointed out, was reminiscent of the transport of captured slaves in the 1800s.
“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 used correctly in this instance,” Hale said in a statement.
Hale said the officers used “poor judgement,” but did not have “malicious intent.” The department has decided to stop the use of such a practice in the future. Neely is reportedly free on bond, according to the Associated Press. The family’s attorney called the arrest “disgusting.”
Read Hale’s apology below: