GALVESTON, Texas – The Texas Rangers determined there was no need for an investigation into the Aug. 3 arrest of Donaly Neely by the Galveston Police Department.
The Texas Rangers said the officers' conduct did not warrant a criminal investigation.
“At the request of the Galveston Police Department, the Texas Rangers conducted an inquiry into this matter, which has since been completed. The Rangers subsequently conferred with the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office, which determined that there was nothing that warranted a criminal investigation,” the Texas Rangers Division announced in a statement Friday.
The Galveston County Sheriff's Office is still working on its "full administrative review of the department’s policies and practices as they relate to the arrest," according to city officials.
“I truly appreciate the time, effort and prompt attention the Texas Rangers provided to reviewing the facts of this case,” Galveston Police Chief Vernon Hale III said. “I am pleased this portion of the investigation has concluded. As we await the conclusion of the independent administrative review, the department continues our ongoing efforts to ensure the best practices, training, and resources are available for our law enforcement officers.”
Galveston police said Neely, 43, was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing at 306 22nd St. after being warned several times not to do so, the police chief said in a statement.
Neely was seen in viral photos being escorted through the street by mounted Galveston police officers using a rope.
Immediately after photos of the arrest surfaced, Hale apologized and said the department will immediately do away with the procedure.
Who are the officers?
Officer P. Brosch and Officer A. Smith performed the arrest. The police chief said the officers were familiar with Neely. Hale said the officers “showed poor judgment in this instance and could have waited for a transport.”
“My officers did not have any malicious intent at the time of the arrest, but we have immediately changed the police to prevent the use of this technique and will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods,” Hale said.
Geoff Gainer, the president of the Galveston Municipal Police Association, said the officers in question did exactly what they were trained to do.
Gainer said the officers escorted Donald Neely in a technique that is the "only escort technique that our officers have been trained in."
He said the practice is accepted nationwide and it is race and gender-neutral.
Gainer said there are "no other written guidelines for the transport of a person in custody by mounted patrol."