77ºF

'It's going to look really bad': Body cam footage released in controversial Galveston arrest

GALVESTON, Texas – The Galveston Police Department on Wednesday released the body cam footage of the controversial arrest of Donald Neely two months ago.

What happened

Neely -- a 43-year-old homeless black man with a mental illness, according to family members -- was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing on Aug. 3.

His arrest went viral after a video emerged of two white officers -- Officer P. Brosch and Officer A. Smith -- with the Galveston Police Department walking Neely by a rope while they rode horseback.
The arrest sparked outrage in the community. 

"It's not excusable, they should be suspended or fired or dismissed or something," one woman said during a community meeting.

The Texas Rangers investigated the arrest but determined nothing criminal happened.

Protesters, however, demanded that the body cam footage of the arrest be released.

What's new

On Wednesday, the Galveston Police Department released the body cam footage from both officers following an "administrative review from the Galveston County Sheriff's Department," according to a news release.

In a new release issued Wednesday officials at GPD said, in part:

"These videos are being released in their entirety; however, there is no audio during the first two minutes of the body camera videos as a result of the configuration of the body camera equipment. Once an officer activates the camera, the previous two minutes are captured on video. The camera is not constantly recording and storing audio due to storage limitations."

The videos are both over 15 minutes long and show the arrest in action as well as the officer leading Neely by rope.

In the videos, Brosch asked Smith, "You want to make him walk?" and Smith nodded.

Brosch gets down to get Neely's belongings and says, "It's going to look really bad."

Before they start escorting Neely, Brosch brings Neely his shoes and is heard saying, "You're doing good Mr. Neely, but we got to do what we got to do, too. You know?"

The officers proceed to attach a rope to Neely and escort him through the street.

The officers led Neely to a parking lot where their vehicles were parked and that is where the videos end.

What's next

According to the Galveston Police Chief Vernon Hale, he is studying the report of the arrest and will, "use its findings to make decisions in the near future about the next steps for the department."