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Man who was arrested then led by a rope sues City of Galveston

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) – A Black man who was led by a rope by two white officers on horseback has sued a southeast Texas city and its police department for $1 million, saying he suffered humiliation and fear during his arrest.

A lawsuit filed last week in Galveston County district court on behalf of Donald Neely, 44, alleged the officers’ conduct was “extreme and outrageous,” both physically injuring Neely and causing him emotional distress. Details of the lawsuit were published by local news outlets.

Photos of the August 2019 encounter show Neely being led by the officers on a rope linked to handcuffs – reminiscent of pictures showing slaves in chains.

Neely, who was homeless at the time, was sleeping on a sidewalk when he was arrested for criminal trespass and led around the block to a mounted patrol staging area. In body-camera video, one officer could be heard twice saying that leading Neely by rope down city streets would look “bad.”

The lawsuit accused the city and the department of negligence, and stated that the officers should have known Neely would consider it offensive to be led on the rope “as though he was a slave.”


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