Galveston Police Union President defends officers in controversial arrest

The President of the Galveston Municipal Police Association is speaking out about the controversial image of a black man being led by a rope by two mounted police officers. 

“It is very easy to take a still shot and fill in your own narrative,” said Geoffrey Gainer.

He says he wants to give people context.

“It could not be further from some type of a racial prejudice,” Gainer added.

He says the way they escorted Neely is how the mounted patrols are trained to do.

“Had they not secured Mr. Neely and he would have wondered off into traffic and gotten hit,” he added. “We’d be in a wrongful death suit because there is a specific way that you transport someone by a mounted officer so that doesn’t happen.”

He adds the officers are not allowed to get off the horses and the first thing the officers did after Neely was arrested was request a patrol unit.

“Rather than staying here in a parking lot for a time frame that no one knows maybe [they thought] we need to take him over to where our unit is,” Gainer said.

Gainer is also coming out in defense of the officers Smith and Brosch.

"I cannot think of two better officers on the force that have bigger hearts that have done more for the community," he stated.

Gainer says he trained Officer Smith and has worked with Officer Brosch for four years. He says Brosch is known for this volunteer work with a soup kitchen and shelter for the homeless. 

The Galveston Police Chief has said the department will no longer transport people like they did Mr. Neely.

"I fully support the Chief reviewing this [policy]," he added. 

However, as for calls for the officers to be disciplined or fired, Gainer disagrees.

"How do you discipline for not breaking a rule?" he asked.

FOX 26 did reach out to the attorney and spokesperson for the Neely family multiple times for comment. We have not heard back yet.

The Texas Municipal Police Association has released a statement about the arrest in They are defending the officers, and no apology was made.

Read the full statement below: