Donald Neely
A photo of two white Galveston, Texas police officers leading a Black man, Donald Neely with a rope on horseback. | Photo: Erin Toberman via Facebook

Civil Rights Attorney Benjamin Crump Demands Galveston, Texas Police Department Release Bodycam Footage of Mounted White Officers Leading Black Man With Rope

A photo of two mounted white Galveston, Texas police officers leading a handcuffed Black man with a rope evoked imagery of Antebellum-era slave catchers for many, sparking an outrage last week that led the Galveston Police Chief to issue a public apology to the suspect, Donald Neely, and his family. But civil rights activists are seeking more. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump has requested the release of body camera footage and threatened citywide protests if the department does not comply.

Related Story: Galveston, Texas Police Chief Apologizes for Photo of Two Mounted White Officers Leading Black Man with Rope

At a press conference Aug. 12, Crump said the Galveston police have 30 days to release the footage, or face citywide protests by civil rights, human rights and mental health advocates and their supporters. Neely is homeless and suffers from bipolar disorder, the family attorney said. Crump said police knew Neely dealt with mental illness, as they had encountered him before.

He was arrested for allegedly trespassing and spent 20 days in jail.

Despite Neely’s struggles, Neely’s sister Taranette Neely said, he is a loving and dedicated family member, and that she is shocked by the way the two officers treated her brother.

“He’s sweet as gold. He’ll give you his last,” she said to CNN’s Don Lemon during an interview. “He has no problem with sharing, loving or just being there for you.”

She said she wants the police officers involved to face charges and for police handling of those with mental health issues to change.

Law enforcement across the country have come under fire for improper treatment of those with mental illnesses. A recently-released bodycam video from the Dallas Police Department in 2016 shows officers pinning down and ultimately killing Tony Timpa, a man who suffered from schizophrenia, had taken drugs and called for help.

Those who suffer from mental illness are more likely to encounter police officers than medical professionals, due to the less-than-ideal state of mental healthcare today.

The Galveston department said in a statement that it understands the “negative perception” of its officers’ choice to lead Neely with a rope, and that it will stop using the practice.

Addressing Galveston police chief Vernon L. Hale III during the press conference, Crump challenged Hale’s apology, during which he vouched for both officers’ morality, saying the body camera footage would reveal if they are of good character.

“Chief Hale, we’re asking you to release the body camera recordings of these officers immediately, and start to heal this community, and in many ways, start to heal America,” Crump said.

The department announced in a press release Aug. 8 that it would be bringing in a third party to conduct an investigation into the incidents. It held a community meeting Aug. 6 for people to voice their concerns.

One Comment

  1. It’s not just a matter of bad optics. This whole story is horrible: a defendant allegedly trespassing — not even a violent crime — known by the officers to suffer from mental illness, is handcuffed, trussed up with ropes and paraded through the streets between 2 deputies on horseback, then jailed for 20 days? Besides being inhumane, these are the kind of circumstances under which people sometimes don’t even come out of jail alive.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Latest News

Helping to Serve Those Most in Need

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente Kaiser Permanente will provide more than $40 million in grants to community-based organizations in the coming months. Many of those grants will help ensure access to health care for those most in need. “We are a mission-based nonprofit that believes everyone has the right to…

TIAA Holds SoPro Business Resource Group Summit

TIAA recently launched its 10th Business Resource Group (BRG): SoPro, for Seasoned Professionals of TIAA. The SoPro BRG’s mission is to maximize the impact of TIAA’s network of seasoned professionals by bridging generational differences and promoting cross-cultural collaboration by sharing knowledge and experiences. This includes future collaboration and partnership with…

Twitter

On Twitter, Activists, Businesses Can Advertise Causes, But Political Ads Still Banned

Twitter released revised rules for advertisements on Friday, saying that ads sponsored by politicians still are banned but advertisements for causes, such as social, economic and environmental issues, are allowed. Beginning this week, businesses and activists are allowed to buy advertisements around causes like “civic engagement” and “social equity.” But…

award, ford, aclu

Christine Blasey Ford Receives ACLU’s Roger Baldwin Courage Award

Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh did not prevent him from ultimately being confirmed for the seat. However, the ACLU of Southern California honored her with the Roger Baldwin Courage Award on Sunday. Blasey Ford received both support and scrutiny for her testimony against…

Fraternity Activities Suspended at Syracuse University Following Latest Racist Incident, Investigation into Racist Graffiti Ongoing

Syracuse University has a new development in its latest string of racist incidents. On Sunday morning, the university suspended all social activities at fraternities after a group of students, including members of the fraternity Alpha Chi Rho, called a Black female student a racial slur on Saturday night. The altercation…

management coworker joke Breakfast Club Rakevion White ASU Arizona restaurant Instagram

Phoenix Restaurant Employees Racially Target Black Server, Management Slow to Fire Racist Co-worker

Rakevion White, a 21-year-old Black Arizona State University (ASU) student, was subjected to racial targeting at his job as a server at the Breakfast Club in Phoenix, according to a BuzzFeed News article published Tuesday. After initially saying it wouldn’t terminate the employee responsible for targeting White, the Breakfast Club…