US police officers who led a black man on rope through Texas streets will not face criminal charges

Two white police officers who led a black man on a rope through the streets of Galveston, Texas, will not face criminal charges.

A picture of the incident sparked widespread outrage after going viral on social media, with many comparing the man's treatment to that of slave masters capturing runaway slaves in pre-abolition America. 

Donald Neely, 43, was arrested in Galveston earlier this month on suspicion of criminal trespassing.

Police say he was arrested by two 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.

Galveston Police have said the man being detained was mentally ill.

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 police have described it as a poor judgement call and have apologised for Neely's treatment. 

"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."

Disciplinary action is still being considered.


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