He said the officers used "poor judgment."
Social media users were dumbfounded after a photo showing a handcuffed man being led around on a leash by horse-mounted police officers went viral. The image was instantly unsettling for many because the man in cuffs is black and the Galveston, Texas officers are white. The man, Donald Neely, was taken into custody on charges of trespassing over the weekend. According to Complex, Neely's sister-in-law said that Donald regularly gets in trouble with the law for trespassing because he's both homeless and mentally ill.
The reason behind the strap was that the handcuffs weren't secure, still, Galveston Police Chief Vernon Hale issued a public apology. "First and foremost I must apologize to Mr. Neely for this unnecessary embarrassment," he began. "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." Police Chief Hale also assured the public that the department would exercise alternative approaches in the future. "[We] will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods."