'They need to be fired': Family of man seen being led by Galveston mounted patrol speaks out

By Bill Barajas - Reporter

GALVESTON, Texas - The family of a handcuffed man seen in viral photos and videos being walked down the street by two mounted Galveston police officers using a rope is outraged.

The man in those images has been identified as 43-year-old Donald Neely.

Neely's family said he is homeless and suffers from mental health issues. He was also diagnosed as bipolar.

READ: What's going on in these photos? Mounted officers lead handcuffed man across street

His family hired an attorney and believes the Galveston Police Department needs to make changes.

Family reaction to seeing the photos:

"They treated my brother as if he was a dog. That's what I got out of the picture," Donald's brother, 
Andy Neely, said.

Has Donald Neely always suffered from mental health issues?:

"Since childhood, he's been dealing with this. He even had run-ins with the Galveston PD for years, so they know how to handle him accordingly than how they did the other day," Andy Neely said.

What does the family want to happen to the officers?:

"They need to be fired. What they did was real inhumane, it was real degrading," Andy Neely said.

Whats next?:

"We encourage the community to come out and hold these people accountable," Melissa Morris, the family's attorney, said.

Police response:

"Although this is a trained technique and best practice in some scenarios, I believe our officers showed poor judgment in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of the arrest. My officers did not have any malicious intent at the time of the arrest, but we have immediately changed the policy to prevent the use of this technique and will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods," Galveston PD Chief Vernon L. Hale III said.

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