The city of Galveston, Texas is being sued over the 2019 arrest of Donald Neely, who was seen in footage last year being led down a public street by horse-mounted cops while his hands were bound with rope.
The suit was filed in Galveston County court by Houston area attorney Julie Ketterman, who says that the involved officers should have been aware of the wrongness of their actions. The officers, the jury trial-demanding suit detailed in Nick Powell's Houston Chronicle piece states, "knew or should have believed that Neely—being a Black man—being led with a rope and by mounted officers down a city street as though he was a slave, would find this contact offensive."
44-year-old Donald Neely—who was arrested in 2019 by white officers—had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was living on the streets of Galveston at the time. Though officers said then that Neely had been arrested for trespassing, those charges were ultimately dismissed.
The suit argues that the 2019 arrest of Neely constitutes an example of emotional distress, malicious prosecution, and negligence. In January of this year, the city of Galveston—a rep for which had previously told regional outlet KHOU that mounted patrol officers did not have a policy regarding arrests—announced a new policy.
The policy—available to read in full here—states that mounted officers should "handcuff and search prisoners thoroughly" before calling for a patrol unit to handle transportation. If one is not available, the mounted officer is instructed to "wait in place" unless a supervisor says otherwise.