Black man sues police for tug-of-war “as if he were a slave”


Caption: Black man sues police department for $ 1,000,000 after being pulled by rope in arrest AP – CBS / Adrienne Bel

A black man who was led on a rope by two white mounted policemen is now suing the town and its police department for $ 1,000,000 (around £ 770,000).

Donald Neely, 44, who was homeless at the time, was sleeping on the sidewalk when he was arrested for trespassing. Officers from the Galveston, Texas Police Department then handcuffed him and led him by rope to a police assembly area eight blocks away.

A complaint filed on Mr. Neely’s behalf in Galveston County District Court described his humiliation alleging that the officers’ conduct was “extreme and dangerous”. He said the incident physically injured Mr. Neely and caused him emotional distress.

He accused the city and the department of negligence and said the officers involved should have known that Mr. Neely would consider it offensive to be led on the rope “as if he were a slave”.

The trial continued: “Neely felt like he was exposed like slaves once were. ”

In the body camera video of the incident, an officer was heard twice saying that driving Mr. Neely by a rope would look “bad”.

He shared his humiliation over the incident, which has been criticized for being racist (Photo: CBS / Adrienne Bell)

Black man sues police for $ 1,000,000 after being pulled by a rope during his arrest Photo: CBS / Adrienne Bell

The Galveston Police Chief has apologized for the officers’ decision (Photo: CBS / Adrienne Bell)

At the time, Galveston Police Chief Vernon Hale said the men had not acted maliciously, but noted that the police department was abandoning the “trained technique” of its policy.

In a statement, he said: “First of all, I must apologize to Mr. Neely for this unnecessary embarrassment.

“While this is an experienced technique and best practice in some scenarios, I think our officers showed lack of judgment in this case and could have waited for a transport unit at the scene. the arrest.

Christin Neely, Mr. Neely’s sister-in-law, had criticized the online police service for treating him “like an animal paraded through the streets by two incompetent a ** holes”.

FILE - On this Friday, October 4, 2019, archive photo, Donald Neely poses for a photo in Houston. Neely, who was led by a rope by two white officers on horseback, sued the city of Galveston, Texas, and its police department for $ 1 million, claiming he suffered humiliation and fear during his arrest. (Marie D. De Jesus / Houston Chronicle via AP, file)

He is suing the city and its police department for $ 1,000,000 (Photo: AP)

Leon Phillips, chairman of the Galveston Coalition for Justice, told the Houston Chronicle that the image of Mr. Neely and officers reminded him of racist images of the 1920s and beyond.

He said: “All I know is these are two white policemen on horseback with a black man walking down the street with a rope attached to the handcuffs, and that doesn’t make sense, period. And I understand that – if it was a white man, I guarantee it wouldn’t have happened.

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