Texas Officers Who Led Black Man By Rope Won’t Face Criminal Probe, State Says


By Dominique Mosbergen

No crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion will be launched into the actions of two white police offi­cers in Texas who led a hand­cuffed black man by a rope through the city of Galveston, state offi­cials said. The offi­cers, iden­ti­fied as P. Brosch and A. Smith, have report­ed­ly also returned to their jobs.
Brosch and Smith pro­voked out­rage ear­li­er this month after a pho­to of them rid­ing horse­back while lead­ing 43-year-old Donald Neely down a street cir­cu­lat­ed on social media. Neely had been arrest­ed on a mis­de­meanor tres­pass­ing charge on Aug. 3 — but, accord­ing to the Galveston Police Department, a trans­porta­tion unit had not been avail­able at the time to trans­port Neely to a police sta­tion so the offi­cers employed a “trained tech­nique” of using mount­ed hors­es to escort the man.

Image result for galveston police chief vernon hale
Chief Vernon Hale

In the face of pub­lic back­lash, Chief Vernon Hale apol­o­gized for the offi­cers’ behav­ior, say­ing that though the pair had used a tech­nique that’s a “best prac­tice in some sce­nar­ios, I believe our offi­cers showed poor judg­ment in this instance and could have wait­ed for a trans­port unit at the loca­tion of the arrest.” Hale added that his depart­ment had “imme­di­ate­ly changed the pol­i­cy to pre­vent the use of this tech­nique and will review all mount­ed train­ing and pro­ce­dures for more appro­pri­ate meth­ods.” The chief’s apol­o­gy and promise to end the prac­tice assuaged some crit­ics ― but oth­ers have con­tin­ued to call for the offi­cers to be fired or face dis­ci­pli­nary action. “What they did was real inhu­mane,” Neely’s broth­er, Andy Neely, told KPRC-TV. “They treat­ed my broth­er as if he was a dog.”

Adrienne Bell, a Democratic can­di­date run­ning for Congress in Texas’ 14th District, said on Facebook ear­li­er this month that the inci­dent had led to wide­spread “anger, dis­gust and ques­tions from the com­mu­ni­ty.”
The Washington Post report­ed on Saturday that the two offi­cers had returned to work days after Neely’s arrest. A state probe had also con­clud­ed that Brosch and Smith would not face a crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion for their actions, the paper not­ed. 
The Texas Ranger Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety, which con­duct­ed an inde­pen­dent probe into the inci­dent, said in a state­ment that “there was noth­ing” the offi­cers did “that war­rant­ed a crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion.”
Brosch and Smith “had not vio­lat­ed the law,” the divi­sion con­clud­ed.
A fam­i­ly lawyer said Neely’s sis­ter, Taranette Neely, didn’t have a reac­tion to the Texas Ranger deci­sion and was “await­ing the con­clu­sion of the full inves­ti­ga­tion,” accord­ing to ABC News
The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office is also con­duct­ing its own probe into the inci­dent, the sta­tion not­ed.