GALVESTON, Texas (NewsNation Now) — Donald Neely filed a $1 million lawsuit on Wednesday against the city of Galveston and its police department following his controversial arrest.
A lawsuit filed in Galveston County district court on behalf of Neely, 44, alleged the officers’ conduct was “extreme and outrageous,” both physically injuring Neely and causing him emotional distress.
Neely says he felt as though he was put on display as slaves once were, according to the lawsuit.
In August of 2019, two Galveston police officers on horseback arrested Neely and escorted him using a rope clipped to his handcuffs. He was led on-foot five blocks to where the officers’ horse trailers were located.
Neely, who was homeless at the time, was sleeping on a sidewalk when he was arrested for criminal trespass and led around the block to a mounted patrol staging area. In body-camera video, one officer could be heard twice saying that leading Neely by rope down city streets would look “bad.”
Neely said one of the horses was acting dangerously and he feared it would run away and drag him down the street.
Shortly after the arrest was made public the Galveston Chief of Police apologized to Neely. The police involved were following protocol, but since the incident, the department has suspended this type of transportation during arrests.
Neely is asking for the $1 million sum for damages suffered because of the arrest.
His case is due back in court next year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.