It hasn’t even been 24 hours since Donald Trump was announced as the president-elect and people on Twitter are not having it. It isn’t because they just don’t want a Trump presidency. It’s because of the examples of hate crimes and rights-stripping that have already started to happen.
People are using #NotMyPresident to show the world just what a Donald Trump presidency will look like.
Officers P. Brosch and A. Smith arrested Donald Neely, a 43-year-old Black man, for alleged trespassing in Galveston, Texas. The officers then handcuffed Neely, tied a blue rope to his handcuffs, and used the rope as a leash as they forced him to be dog walked in his own neighborhood to the staging area for the Mounted Patrol Unit. Witnesses took photos of the incident and released them to the public, prompting an outcry over the dehumanization of the man.
The two officers involved in the incident will not face a criminal investigation, according to Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset.
“My officers did not have any malicious intent at the time of the arrest, but we have immediately changed the policy to prevent the use of this technique and will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods,” Police Chief Vernon Hale said in a statement.
According to CNN, the officers were following policy when it came to arresting by horseback officers. While a criminal investigation is not happening, there is an investigation being conducted on the county level. The investigation, however, is not into the incident, but rather an investigation in the police forces’ policies.
The visceral effect of the image is rooted in the use of this “technique” to capture and enslave Black people in the antebellum south.
In a Facebook post, Texas’ Galveston Police Department included this statement:
“Although this is a trained technique and best practice in some scenarios, I believe our officers showed poor judgment in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of the arrest. My officers did not have any malicious intent at the time of the arrest, but we have immediately changed the policy to prevent the use of this technique and will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods.”
Neely’s family attorney, Melissa Morris, says that Neely is mentally ill and homeless.
Morris told KPRC that Neely lived a normal life as the father of eight children until he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder ten years ago. His family had been looking for him for the last three or four years. When Neely’s sister saw his image go viral, she immediately drove to Galveston to find him.
The Galveston Police Chief Vernon L. Hale III has since released a statement, saying “First and foremost I must apologize to Mister Neely for this unnecessary embarrassment.” Hale has confirmed that this is a commonplace technique that “is considered a best practice in certain scenarios, such as during crowd control, the practice was not the correct use for this instance.” The police department has discontinued the use of the “technique.”
“The family is offended. The family is upset,” Morris told KPRC.
“I believe the way they handled him was disgusting,” Morris told the Texas station. “No puedo con esta mierda. Me mudo. Me vomito,” comments one Twitter user.
The police officers have received no consequences for their “poor judgment” at the time of this publication.
In 2014, Dontre Hamilton, a mentally ill Black man, was shot 14 times by police, though he was unarmed. Some people are calling on the police department to “fire them!” Another Twitter user feels the apology is “Not enough. Officers Brosch and Smith should be ID’d in full and then fired. If the #Galveston Police department treat a Black man like this for a misdemeanor, who knows what savage acts they would commit for a felony.”
Meanwhile, people are showing the treatment of the El Paso shooter who killed 22 people in comparison to a Black man arrested for trespassing.
President of the Galveston Coalition for Justice, Leon Phillips, told the Houston Chronicle, “All I know is that 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. And I do understand this —if it was a white man, I guarantee it wouldn’t have happened.”
For some, the photo is further proof of the injustices Black men and women face when dealing with law enforcement.
“Tell me again how racism is dead and that we Black folk just overreact to everything? Don’t worry I’ll wait,” tweets @luvwinsresist. Unfortunately, she didn’t have to wait long.
Nearly half the social media outrage to the photo comes from folks who claim the law is color blind.
They seem to be angry that anyone could suggest that race played a role in the way Neely was treated. Photos of other non-Black suspects under arrest by cops on horseback are being circulated. None of the photos we scoured found the use of a rope to function as a leash.
People of color are expending their energy on explaining racism to white folks all over the Internet this week.
After one Twitter user asked if anyone would care if they were Black cops dragging a Black man, Monica Charley chimed in to say, “Yes. I would care. I would care very much. The difference here is that the incident harkens to an earlier era during slavery when this actual act was commonplace for captured slaves. That is the reason for the extreme upset. I hope this clarifies things for you.”
The user responded using “they” language, and once again erasing the anger of Black folks as oversensitive.
Take care of yourselves out there, mi gente.
This week has been pesado in ways we couldn’t even imagine. Take care not to give away precious joules of energy to people who aren’t worthy. Our community has your back.
Soledad O’Brien’s journalistic career is known for delivering hard-hitting truths without playing the political game of ‘playing nice.’ She’s calling Trump a racist and she’s calling out The New York Times‘ for refraining from calling Trump a racist because “that language is a turn off to some readers.”
O’Brien is so matter-of-fact, her show is called, “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.” If you’re not watching her show, her Twitter feed is as blunt as it gets. She’s savagely taking down ignorant fathers who wouldn’t know consent education if it hit them in the cojones, and they still don’t know what hit them. Here are O’Brien’s victims from this month alone:
This father who victim-blamed survivors of sexual assault, but he told his daughter to just kick the guy in the cojones so “She’s no one’s victim.”
After one person called O’Brien out for being “a bit harsh” given that “he at least taught her to say no,” someone named Zoe actually had to explain. “It’s not harsh,” Zoe replied. “He only taught her to say no in very specific situations that almost never happen. I guarantee he never taught her how to say no to relatives, friends, boyfriends, bosses, etc – people you can’t just hit due to freezing up, or social/financial/etc consequences.”
RIP, white men and your naive musings about a post-Trump America.
Sorry, bro, people of color are simply unfazed to see racism thrive in America. Fox & Friends will never shun Trump so long as he’s stoking the fear-baiting racist fires. O’Brien dared to say what we all couldn’t fathom–Trump will get his own show on Fox & Friends, whether he gives up the Presidency or goes full-on authoritarian.
*GASP* Could racism really be …. systemic?
Even the methods used to combat racism are racist. O’Brien, an Afro-Latina woman entirely familiar with racism in America, is just “not shocked.” You can check someone’s privilege based on how surprised they are to learn that racism is systemic.
We simply cannot.
Of the many excuses we hear for why folks voted and continue to support Trump, “economic anxiety” is the biggest excuse for condoning human rights violations and racism like we haven’t seen in a century. O’Brien followers lamented to have to add “fundraising while black” as a life-threatening task in America. Someone else used the GOP’s excuse used for white supremacist mass murderers: “That woman should not have access to video games. At all.”
When a former Navy SEAL trains dogs to “attack school shooters,” O’Brien sees into the future as adding dead dogs to the list of consequences of loose gun laws.
“Anything but addressing the gun issues head-on. Dogs. Cats. Flying Squirrels,” comments one Twitter user. Someone else just perfectly encapsulated the dialogue between sensible gun reform advocates and NRA die-hards:
“People: Let’s regulate guns. ‘Merica: No! We’ll give teachers guns. People: That would be super dangerous. Let’s regulate guns. ‘Merica: No! Backbacks that block bullets! People: That would be very ineffective. Let’s regulate guns. ‘Merica: No! Dogs that attack shooters!”
Heads up that dogs are not immune to bullets, and shooters can just point downwards toward the dog.
O’Brien also has a special knack for mocking the not-so-newsworthiness of “news.”
For some reason, a video clip of Democratic Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren “running in Franconia, NH” went viral. “She has my vote” filled the comment thread. We have a feeling that O’Brien was likely commenting on how silly it is that watching a woman run is news.
She’s not here for people calling men brave for dealing with issues women always face.
Everyone in the comments is just shocked that this is even news. That anyone would think this man is anything but handsome. One commenter said that his wife wished he was as “ugly” as Simu Liu.
Also, RIP to the possibly-NOT-a-bot “Amazon Fulfillment Center Ambassador.”
@AmazonFCBilly went on to say, “Because people are wondering, yes, Frank was a valued part of the discussion! His insights into the downsides of trade unionism were very valuable!” One person genuinely asked, “If you type this do they give you a bathroom break as a reward?”
We ran the account through bot.me and they’re not a bot. It might be a “Get Out” situation, but not a bot. Maybe O’Brien snapped them out of it. Either way, we’re loving these clapbacks and truth-telling. Gracias.