A black man ‘Donald Neely’ was led by a rope down a Texas street by two white officers on horseback has sued the city and its police department for $1m.
Galveston Police apologized last year after footage emerged of Donald Neely, 44, arrested for criminal trespassing.
A lawsuit filed this week alleged the officers’ conduct was “extreme and outrageous” and caused Mr. Neely injury and emotional and mental anguish.
The trespass charges against Mr. Neely were later dismissed in court.
Many people on social media compared the footage of Mr. Neely to the slavery era, an allusion referenced explicitly in the lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, the officers should have been aware that Mr. Neely, “being led with a rope and by mounted officers down a city street as though he was a slave, would find this contact offensive”.
Mr. Neely – who was homeless at the time – was sleeping on a sidewalk, US media reported when he was arrested for criminal trespass and led around the block to a mounted police patrol staging area. The charges were later dismissed.
Following an investigation into the encounter, the department released body camera footage of the arrest. In it, the officers can be heard commenting on the appearance of Mr. Neely’s arrest.
“This is going to look so bad. I’m glad you’re not embarrassed, Mr. Neely,” one officer is heard saying.
A status conference is currently scheduled for 7 January 2021. Mr. Neely is requesting a trial by jury, according to court documents.