New bodycam video shows handcuffed man led by horseback

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Houston — Images of a handcuffed man led by police officers on horseback caused a national outcry this summer. For the first time, officers’ bodycam video has been released.

The never before seen footage is about 30 minutes long and shows the initial arrest of Donald Neely, who was handcuffed and tethered to a rope and then walked down the streets of Galveston by two officers on horseback.

The image of the controversial August arrest sparked outrage and charges of racism. Instead of sending for a police car, the officers walked Neely to the station, clipping a rope to his handcuffs.

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One officer can be heard acknowledging how it looked. “This is gonna look really bad,” he said.

Neely, a mentally ill man who was once homeless, was arrested for criminal trespass.

The officers were not disciplined, but Galveston police say that the practice of using rope has been discontinued.

In August, Galveston Police Chief Vernon L. Hale said the horseback arrest was “a trained technique and best practice in some scenarios,” but he believed the officers “showed poor judgment in this instance.”

“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,” Hale said.

Neely’s family previously demanded the police department to release bodycam footage.

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