Police in Galveston, Texas have issued an apology after a pair of white officers were photographed leading a black man by rope down the street.
Photos posted on Twitter and Facebook show the man with his hands behind his back, flanked by two police officers on horseback, with what appears to be a blue rope in one of the officer’s hands.
Police chief Vernon Hale said in a statement on Monday night that it is a “trained technique” and “best practice in some scenarios” and that his officers had no “malicious intent.”
“I believe our officers showed poor judgment in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of the arrest,” he said.
WATCH: More video emerges of police on horseback leading man via rope in Texas
The police department has “immediately changed the policy to prevent the use of this technique and will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods,” Hale said.
According to a police release posted on Facebook, the man is 43-year-old Donald Neely and he was arrested for trespassing on Saturday. The officers at the scene were familiar with him, the release added.
He was “handcuffed and a line was clipped to the handcuffs,” the police department said.
“First and foremost, I must apologize to Mr. Neely for this unnecessary embarrassment,” Hale wrote in the release.
The department’s Facebook post also said that transport was not available at the time Neely was arrested.
“While this technique of using mounted horses to transport a person during an arrest is considered a best practice in certain scenarios, such as during crowd control, the practice was not the correct use for this instance,” the department said.
Adrienne Bell, a Democratic candidate running for Congress in Texas’ 14th District, posted about the incident on Twitter and Facebook.
“It is hard to understand why these officers felt this young man required a leash, as he was handcuffed and walking between two mounted officers,” she wrote on her Facebook page Monday night.
“It is a scene that has invoked anger, disgust, and questions from the community.”
The person who took the photo wanted to remain unidentified, according to Leon Phillips, the president of the Galveston Coalition for Justice. He spoke with The New York Times on Monday.
“If it was a white man, he wouldn’t have been treated that way,” Phillips told the Times.