Being born and raised in Galveston over 70 years ago, I was totally disgusted by the racist photo circulating all over the country on Monday. I have always been proud to be a Galvestonian — but no more.

The police chief must do the right thing and terminate the two officers who seemed clueless to the repugnant impact of their actions, particularly at this time in our greatly divided country.

Their actions took us back to a terrible time in our history that's still difficult to acknowledge without tremendous pain.

Vera Norman Whisenton

Silver Spring, Maryland

(10) comments

Carlos Ponce

"racist photo"? Hyperbole.

From the Galveston Municipal Police Association/Texas Municipal Police Association:

"The technique that our officers utilized to escort Mr. Neely is an accepted practice nationwide. It is race and gender neutral. It is a universal technique meant to protect the individual being escorted, as well as the public. It is so universal in its application that it is the only escort technique that our officers have been trained in. In fact, there are no other written guidelines for the transport of a person in custody by mounted patrol."

The terms "racist" and "racism" have been tossed about like beads at a Mardi Gras parade. They lose their meaning when used where there is NO RACISM involved.

Charles Douglas

I wished I had said that! So well articulated, as George Croix use to say! Lolo.

Gary Scoggin

I agree, Carlos. (And I don’t get to say that too often! 😀)

Emile Pope

And exactly who gave them the right to make that decision?

David Smith

They were following PROTOCOL. ..They should not be fired .

Bailey Jones

I can't agree with the idea of terminating someone for following the rules of their job. The damage to the city's reputation far outweighs any damage done to Mr. Neely - and I've yet to hear what that damage might be. The rules have been changed, the department has apologized. Let's save our outrage for the truly outrageous.

Wayne Holt

I wonder if the people calling out this action as "unacceptable racism" even have a clue how damaging this shrillness is to real racism that persists in society. Short of some direct evidence that the officers in question did what they did out of racist habit or intent, an objective and intelligent person would assume policy was inappropriately applied or inadequate to the task of addressing situations like this.

Is that no longer even considered in America? Is every action to be fodder to pin "racist" on anyone caught in a situation like this? The FACTS are a mentally ill repeat offender was once again criminally trespassing. No one knows his state of mind, frame of mind. He was apprehended and two mounted officers walked him to the collection point, secured in a way policy indicated was correct. The GPD chief apologized for the optics, gave a clear explanation of the circumstances and has made extensive efforts to ensure this is not repeated.

At this point in the conversation, I think those who truly seek racial reconciliation will be thanking Chief Hale for his handling of this episode. Those who continue to be outraged? I question their objectivity and motivations.

Emile Pope

Garbage. Racism is action not intent. How is anyone supposed to know what someone’s intentions are unless they can read minds? All we can go by is what they actually did and that’s enough...

Wayne Holt

So true, thank you for your confirmation of what has been expressed here so often. And what they did was race neutral (they have used it on white suspects), according to the suspect himself the officers were not harsh in any way, there is no apparent civil rights violation in the way this technique was employed and the African-American police chief of this racist enclave has already done a sterling job of making amends and instituting needed changes.

But you have taken it upon yourself to somehow declare all that is irrelevant. Language and opinion that has no basis in the meaning of words commonly employed, points to no discriminatory action, offers no evidence of either overt or covert racism other than a personal trigger by an image is, by definition, irrational. Based on what we know so far, your position is irrational, as in unable to be sustained by convincing argument. Until evidence is produced that is contrary to what has been shown so far, it will remain such.

Bailey Jones

I'm horrified by this video of Silver Spring police using racial slurs during an encounter with African Americans.

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