/  10.13.2020

Last yeas, two Galveston cops on horseback led a Black man tied by rope down the street after arresting him. Now, he’s suing the Texas city for $1 million dollars.

In August of 2019, 43-year-old Donald Neely — who was homeless at the time — was arrested by officers for sleeping on a sidewalk outside of a post office. The cops saw Neely while they were patrolling the area on horseback and charged him with trespassing, tied his hands back and led him five blocks to their horse trailer before driving him to a jail.

Neely is now suing the city for the cops’ “extreme and outrageous” conduct after video of the arrest sparked outrage on social media.

According to a petition filed in Galveston County District Court, the man “suffered from handcuff abrasions, suffered from the heat and suffered from embarrassment, humiliation and fear as he was led by rope and mounted officers down the city street.” 

Neely’s lawsuit against the city states that the cops should have known that leading him “with a rope and by mounted officers down a city street as though he was a slave” was “offensive.” 

“Neely felt as though he was put on display as slaves once were,” the lawsuit reads. “He suffered from fear because one of the horses was acting dangerously [and] putting Neely in fear of being drug down the street by a run-away horse.”

After Neely’s arrest, Galveston Police Chief Vernon L. Hale III issued an apology for the cops’ conduct and dropped the trespassing charges against him. The department also discontinued the use of mounted officers in the city’s downtown area. The arrest was reviewed by the Texas Rangers, but the department decided the incident didn’t warrant an investigation.

According to the Atlanta Black Star, Neely is being represented by Julie Ketterman, who took the case over from Benjamin Crump. A case status conference is set for Jan. 7, 2021. See video of the arrest below.


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