GALVESTON, Tex. (CNN) — A police department in Texas is apologizing after two of its mounted police officers led a man along a road attached at the cuffs by a rope. The Galveston Police Department says the backlash has led to changes in its policy. The photos show officers Brosch and Smith, on horseback, escorting 43-year-old Donald Neely, using a rope.
Attorney Melissa Morris represents the family, “I’m appalled. I think the way they handled him was disgusting. The family is offended. The family is upset.” Neely had been warned several times not to trespass at a certain building but did anyway, the police chief said. The officers handcuffed him, clipped a rope to the cuffs, and escorted Neely to a staging area a couple of blocks away.
“Disgusting and unnecessary,” one person commented. “Inhumane,” wrote another. But some disagreed: “this is common protocol,” one person wrote, “I’m not seeing the controversy. “
“Someone happened to be driving by and saw this and was so upset at the way that it looked, just the humiliating way in which he was arrested,” said Morris
“First and foremost i must apologize to Mister neely for this unnecessary embarrassment,” the police chief said in a statement. He called what happened a “trained technique” used “in some scenarios” but added “I believe our officers showed poor judgment” and “could have waited for a transport unit.”
He insisted his officers “had no malicious intent 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.” The attorney says Neely is a father of eight who has been diagnosed as bipolar and is currently homeless.
She says his family had not seen or heard from him in several years..