Galveston, Texas officers on horseback seen leading handcuffed man with rope

GALVESTON, Texas -- Police in Galveston, Texas are responding to uproar over a photo posted to Facebook showing a man being led by officers on horses using a rope.

Donald Neely, 43, was arrested by the Galveston Police Department on Saturday on criminal trespassing charges.

Police said the officers led him around the corner where the mounted patrol unit was staging when the photo was taken.

Some commented online that it appeared the rope was tied to the suspect's hands. The police department said the suspect was handcuffed and the rope was clipped to the handcuffs.

Chief Vernon L. Hale, III of the Galveston Police Department released a statement apologizing to Neely:
"First and foremost I must apologize to Mister Neely for this unnecessary embarrassment. Although this is a trained technique and best practice in some scenarios, I believe our officers showed poor judgement in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of arrest. 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."

Neely's sister was upset when she saw the photo. She told our sister station KTRK he is mentally ill and homeless.

Others also did not like what they saw in the photo.

"You don't even do a dog like that," said Sherri Kelly of Spring, Texas. "I don't care. That's inhumane."

"Where were they walking him to and why did they rope him if he was handcuffed? I don't think it's right," Cynthia Orise of Galveston said.

The department identified the officers as P. Brosch and A. Smith. They were wearing body cameras, which were activated, according to police.

Police said the officers will not face discipline.