There will be no repercussions for two white Texas rangers who tied a mentally ill Black man’s hands behind his back and led him down a public street like cattle as they rode on horseback.
The Texas Rangers said an investigation found “nothing that warranted a criminal investigation.”
The officers in question identified only as P. Brosch and A. Smith, won’t face a criminal investigation after a public outcry to examine the man’s inhumane treatment while being escorted to jail in Galveston, The NY Daily News reports.
On Aug. 3, Donald Neely was walked six blocks to jail while his hands were handcuffed and tied and he was tethered to a rope held by one of the officers as his horse trotted down a street. After pictures surfaced on social media, outrage caused the Texas Ranger Division, along with the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office to decide there would be a third-party investigation launched to look into Neely’s arrest.
Police Chief Vernon Hale apologized for the officers’ treatment and stated that his department has “immediately changed the policy” to prevent further use of the technique.
Hale told The Galveston County Daily News that he regularly talks to his officers about how their actions affect people’s perception of the department.
“You have to be aware of the images we portray,” he said. “We talk about it when we talk about use of force, when we talk about vehicle pursuits. Quite frankly, I never would have dreamed of it in the context of mounted officers.”
Neely’s family came forward to say he was homeless and suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder and was not taking his medication.
What you did here to this man, Donald Neely, is horrible and unacceptable.
I would say “We need answers,” but nothing you can say would ever justify what you did to this man. Nothing at all. pic.twitter.com/OdVeqrFDcv
— Shaun King (@shaunking) August 6, 2019
They hired civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump to examine the case.
“These horrific images…conjure up historical memories of when slave owners…dragged black slaves by rope around their necks back in the 1700s and the 1800s,” Crump, told ABC News. “This isn’t 1819, this is 2019, Galveston!”
And while the Rangers determined, ” that there was nothing that warranted a criminal investigation,” the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office is still moving forward with its own probe.
Donald Neely’s brother Andy told Houston 2 he was “disgusted” at the photos, and that they were “very, very degrading.” He called for the officers to be fired.