A Texas police department has apologised after a black man was led through the streets by a rope held by officers on horseback.
Donald Neely, 43, was arrested in Galveston on Saturday (local time) on suspicion of criminal trespassing. The arrest was carried out by two mounted officers on horses as no police cruisers were available at the time. Rather than wait for a vehicle, they decided to move Neely to a nearby 'staging area' for mounted patrol.
- The Project hosts on why blackface's history shows it's never okay
- Liam Neeson insists he's not racist, hugs and kisses black people on TV
- Under fire Utah bus driver claims he's not racist because his dog is black
Photos taken at the scene show Neely with his hands cuffed behind his back and a blue rope clipped to the handcuffs, which was held by one of the officers. Vice News reports he was made to walk behind the horses for about eight blocks.
The images went viral on social media, with many saying it was reminiscent of slave masters capturing runaway slaves in pre-abolition America.
Galveston Police Department has apologised for how Neely was treated. It claims that while leading suspects by rope is a trained technique that is sometimes best practice, the officers showed "poor judgment" in implementing it but had no malicious intent.
"We understand the negative perception of this action and believe it is most appropriate to cease the use of this technique," the department said in a Facebook post. "The Police Chief has taken immediate action to suspend this technique of transportation during arrests."