Police in Texas have sparked outrage after pictures emerged showing two white officers on horseback leading a black man through the street by a rope on Saturday.
Galveston Police issued an apology on Monday after the shocking picture surfaced on social media, prompting a fierce backlash over its apparent connotations of slavery and civil rights issues.
The photograph shows Donald Neely, 43, being transported by Officer Patrick Brosch and Officer A. Smith from 306 22nd St to the Mounted Patrol Unit on 21st and Market.
Police clarified that while it may have appeared Neely's wrists were tied with the rope during the trespassing arrest, he was in fact handcuffed and the line was attached to the cuffs.
But viewers of a video that later emerged left people disgusted after a some believed they were witnessing a bag being removed from Neely's head.
Galveston Police's public information officer told DailyMail.com: 'Mr. Neely was wearing a welding mask on his head at the time that he was taken into custody. The mask was falling down and Officer Brosch asked Mr. Neely for permission to remove the mask and hold it while they walked.'
People in the area commented online that he is known for wearing the cover-up.
Law enforcement said they were familiar with Neely and he had been reprimanded for trespassing in the area before. They had given him several warnings before walking him using the rope.
The department said the officers were wearing body cameras. They are not facing disciplinary action.
Neely's sister-in-law Christin Neely said in a Facebook post on Monday that her brother is a 'homeless and mentally ill' father of eight.