Well, yes….

Police in Texas have apologised after photographs emerged of two white officers on horseback leading a black man down the street by a rope.

Obviously.

Melissa Morris, a lawyer for Mr Neely’s family, said he was homeless, mentally ill, and suffered from bipolar disorder.

Doesn’t matter, skin colour.

Galveston’s police department said leading a suspect by a rope on horseback was something officers were trained to do.

It was an accepted law enforcement technique, and even “best practice” in some situations.

Doesn’t matter, skin colour. Doesn’t even matter whether skin colour should matter, it does.

However:

Leon Phillips, president of the Galveston Coalition for Justice, said: “These are two white police officers on horseback, with a black man, walking him down the street with a rope tied to the handcuffs, and that’s doesn’t make sense, period.

“Stay there with him instead of humiliating him, and now you’ve humiliated the whole city of Galveston. And I do understand this, if it was a white man, I guarantee it would not have happened.”

Advice to Galveston. Search those archives for a white arrestee being led on a rope behind horses. Search real hard and publish, publish, publish.

43 thoughts on “Well, yes….”

  1. Two things:

    – leading people down a street by a rope is demeaning and certainly has enormously bad publicity value. It also sounds like remarkably stupid behavior when the one being led is black, because that is known to create a shitstorm of evil reaction, which doesn’t help anyone

    – “Melissa Morris, a lawyer for Mr Neely’s family, said he was homeless, mentally ill, and suffered from bipolar disorder.” So where was the family in looking after this poor fellow? Apparently they can afford a lawyer, but apparently couldn’t afford enough time to watch over him…

  2. “And I do understand this, if it was a white man, I guarantee it would not have happened.”

    Well, white crime rates are an order of magnitude lower than black ones, so he could be right.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    Just another version of the publicised perp walk.

    Both are wrong and for the same reason.

  4. @BiTiN

    “Apparently they can afford a lawyer, but apparently couldn’t afford enough time to watch over him”

    Harsh for two reasons, I feel.

    When something like this happens, it isn’t rare for a lawyer (perhaps chasing publicity, perhaps out to do some good, perhaps with an eye on no win, no fee work for the compensation pot clearly coming available, who knows) to volunteer their services for free initially. Having a lawyer in this situation needn’t be an indicator of great wealth or connections.

    And even if they had both, what can you do about a relative who is mentally ill and homeless? Not sure of the details in this case but you can usually add addiction issues to that mix. It might not feel safe to open up a spare room for them, and they might not accept it even if you offer. Trying to rent a house for them or persuade them to go into (expensive) residential care would face similar problems.

  5. If you have cops on horseback and they have to move a suspect from Point A to Point B, I’m not sure how else they’re supposed to do that. It’s not like the horse has a back seat you can put him in.

  6. It seems a silly tactic–as if they have seen too many Westerns. Plus what if the horse–however well-trained–found the suspect getting too close and let fly with a life-ending kick to the skull?

    Had a white bloke been on the rope end there would have not been a word said.

  7. As always happens, when the campaigners’ goals are achieved, the campaigners don’t go away. Blacks don’t want to be treated the same as everyone else anymore, they want to be treated BETTER.

  8. It won’t matter if there are an endless series of pictures of white suspects/arrestees who have been treated similarly, because its not about equality any more, as Gamecock rightly points out, its about special treatment.

  9. That’s my point, Julia. If anyone is entitled to compo it’s the chap on the lead, not his family.

  10. I sneeze in threes

    Couldn’t they have just rolled him up in a blanket and thrown him over the back of the horse?

  11. Yes indeed. They could have just shot the unarmed black man with bi-polar disorder. No PR issues could possibly have arisen from doing that.

  12. Dennis, Septic to the Masses

    Doesn’t matter, skin colour. Doesn’t even matter whether skin colour should matter, it does.

    Absolutely correct, Timmy. This is why it is clear that the Galvestone police department is being run by morons. The idea that it would not occur to anyone in that department that this policy/procedure might not be a good idea in the USA of 2019 is simply mind-boggling. There is a huge industry populated by members of our political/media/intellectual class that have a vested interest in making sure that – irrespective of actual levels of racism in our society – the notion that the USA is a racist hellhole is relentlessly promoted. Given that police have been on the receiving end of this sort of political propaganda for decades, it’s rather amazing that someone didn’t have the awareness to say ‘Maybe this isn’t a good idea’.

    Advice to Galveston. Search those archives for a white arrestee being led on a rope behind horses. Search real hard and publish, publish, publish.

    And this is where Timmy – and most non-septics – display their lack of understanding of race in the USA. You can show all the photos you want of the policy/procedure being applied to criminals of all races, creeds and colors and it would change nothing. The political/media/intellectual class has weaponized race for its own purposes… They couldn’t care less about the reality; what is important is keeping the narrative they have established alive.

  13. Dennis, Confuser of the Dim

    It was an accepted law enforcement technique, and even “best practice” in some situations.

    Given that using said practice has now managed to draw negative attention to your community, roil that same community and get your whole police department branded as racist, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t really a ‘best practice’ in the first place.

  14. They could have just shot the unarmed black man with bi-polar disorder. No PR issues could possibly have arisen from doing that.

    What if he could’ve been the next Hitler?

  15. @Dennis

    “Best practice” is a great term though, isn’t it? Suggests some kind of objective superiority. Totally screwed something up? Well so long as you can say “but we were applying best practice” then somehow that makes what you did okay. After all what else could you have done, applied a worse than best practice?

    I think what “best practice” really means is “there’s a manual/document/regulation/training course somewhere that says we should do it that way”. When I see someone say they’re applying best practice these days I treat it as noise, perhaps an indication that they’re making an effort on a particular point (or want me to think they are) but no guarantee that what they’re doing will be optimal, appropriate, thought-through or even remotely reasonable.

  16. OT, but relevant to one of the common post themes on here about false rape allegations, has anyone been following the Ayia Napa false rape case:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49262995

    British teenager (19) accuses a group of 12 Israeli lads on holiday of gang raping her, allegation soon falls apart and she gets charged with making a false allegation, which appears to have stemmed from having engaged in consensual sexual activity with one or more of them, footage of which then ended up on social media, and the rape allegation was an act of revenge for being thus humiliated.

    She obviously was unaware that not all police forces are as feminised as the UK force, and as fully signed up to the ‘believe all women’ principle, and some of them abroad still have this quaint idea that people who make serious allegations had better be telling the truth, or suffer the consequences.

  17. @Jim: yes, I’ve been following it. She’s now trying the time-honoured tactic of ‘But those nasty foreigners made me sign a false confession, boo hoo!’.

    No doubt on the instructions of her lawyer.

  18. Dennis, He of Many Names

    When I see someone say they’re applying best practice these days I treat it as noise, perhaps an indication that they’re making an effort on a particular point (or want me to think they are) but no guarantee that what they’re doing will be optimal, appropriate, thought-through or even remotely reasonable.

    When I hear someone saying they’re applying best practices I assume (1) they can’t think for themselves, and (2) they will fuck up sooner rather than later because (1).

  19. “You can show all the photos you want of the policy/procedure being applied to criminals of all races, creeds and colors and it would change nothing.”

    Same applies to global climate warming emergency heating crisis. Countering it with science does no good, because IT’S NOT ABOUT SCIENCE.

  20. Yes indeed. They could have just shot the unarmed black man with bi-polar disorder. No PR issues could possibly have arisen from doing that.

    Sure. Because a homeless black bloke being shot by the cops in the southern USA is not such a rare occurrence as one being led on a rope behind a horse.

  21. Surreptitious Evil

    When I hear someone saying they’re applying best practices I assume

    that they don’t actually understand the word “best”. I loath the term ‘best practice’ and refuse to allow it to be used in any document I have review or sign-off privileges for. “Good practice” – often qualified, such as “good commercial practice”, yes, that’s fine. But you can always find a better way to do things, if you weren’t burdened by time, lack of money, or incompetence.

    Or being a consultant from one of the Big Four. Which is, in many cases, simply repetition.

  22. Oddly enough, SE, my brother is a consultant in one of those Four. I do not know if he uses the phrase ‘best practice’, but I should imagine he does. He earns a lot far more than I do.

    I also loathe the phrase, however. It smacks and has always smacked of buck-passing and of institutional indifference. Broadly, I recall its introduction to the language, in the late nineties.

    God, the influence that effluence has had…

  23. ” She’s now trying the time-honoured tactic of ‘But those nasty foreigners made me sign a false confession, boo hoo!’. No doubt on the instructions of her lawyer.”

    Possibly not, as the article I linked to was about her lawyer having effectively said ‘This woman is crazy, I’m having nothing to do with her defence’ and him walking out. I suspect that maybe Cypriot lawyers have slightly more moral substance than UK ones, who don’t seem to care a jot about their clients obviously lying their faces off, I suspect his ‘serious disagreement’ with his client would be over her wanting to ‘get off’ by accusing the Cypriot police force of forcing the confession out of her. I seriously doubt that he’s suggesting such a line of defence and she’s getting on her high horse about lying all of a sudden……………

  24. Hm.

    1) Lawyers do not give their clients instructions. It’s the other way around. Or, so I tell my clients. And I gather it’s the approved formula, at least here.

    2) If her lawyer said what Jim says he said then, in this country, he’d be in for career-ending pain. Assuming standards are different in furrin, he should be ashamed of himself. He reminds me of those Indian lawyers who refused to defend those accused of the bus gang-rape.

    3) From which it follows that I do not understand why his conduct might be considered praiseworthy. If I am professionally embarrassed by a client, as has occasionally happened, I do not broadcast it to the world.

    4) when it becomes clear to me that my clients are lying their faces off, I am professionally embarrassed, and I withdraw from the case.

    5) has anyone else noticed an uptick in recent days in young British women getting themselves into a pickle in furrin?

  25. Not Dennis, Someone Else

    Lawyers do not give their clients instructions. It’s the other way around.

    That’s an impressive bit of fiction. Ever considered expanding it to novel length?

  26. I’ve been following that excellent print documentary series on American policing published by Fleetway and then Rebellion Publications for 30 years, and surely they’d cuff him to a holding post and call in a catch wagon.

  27. You disappoint me, Mr Someone Else. A xir of your stature and moral reckoning ought to be expecting a post-modern epic poem.

    “August is the cruellest month for feet…” etc.

    How’re yours, I neglected to ask?

  28. Dennis Topaz Someone Else

    Lud-

    And have you displace McGonagall? I think not. ‘It’s a heavy load, that task… I’ll wager yer not up to it.

  29. Still not sure what the alternative is for transporting a prisoner whilst on horseback. That question was posed and no-one has really answered it. I assume that normally there is a vehicle back-up available but I can imagine it’s not always the case.

    I can totally see why it raises bad connotations mind you.

  30. Reading the BBC article it seemed that the Justice Abroad group had got to her and we’re maybe responsible for the change in story at which point the local lawyer decided to withdraw. I didn’t see any mention of him calling her crazy just that he had a unspecified serious disagreement with his client.
    Justice Abroad are now claiming she has been refused legal representation which shows they aren’t above bending the facts to suit their own interpretation.
    Apparently she’s facing up to 1 year in prison and a fine which seems a fairly light sentence

  31. “Still not sure what the alternative is for transporting a prisoner whilst on horseback.”

    Galveston cops should have responed, “That’s how we do it.”

    Then ignored all the permanently offended.

  32. Curiously enough, there was a time when the justice system worked & law enforcement enforced laws when this would have been best practice. Put someone who’d committed a minor demeanour in pursuit of perpetrating a greater one through a degree of humiliation. A deterrent against a repeat attempt.
    Seriously doubt this guy was wandering around an office building in the hope of encountering a member of of the Thundering Herd & gaining some investment advice.
    If you’ve ever been in charge of a building you’d know that walk-ins can be an absolute pain in the arse. Opportunistic thieves who haven’t actually done anything criminal unless you catch them at it. Otherwise it’s trespass & the police don’t want to know. So you’re forced to spend a mint on security when the total potential haul they’re likely to make is less than the week’s wage of a single security bod. But people don’t like coming back to their desk & finding someone’s been through their handbag & taken their credit cards.

  33. “Still not sure what the alternative is for transporting a prisoner whilst on horseback.”

    Not sure why they’re using horses anyway. Horses might be better than cars for rough, hilly terrain or narrow paths. I just looked on Google maps, and Galveston’s a 25-mile long flat island. It looks mostly built up (with straight streets that cars should work pretty well on), alternating with bits of what look like unreclaimed bog (which I wouldn’t have thought horses would be much good on).

    I rather like it that they’re still using horses, but it does suggest that they haven’t yet come to terms with the 20th century, never mind the 21st.

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