Outrage Grows After NYC Subway Death of Jordan Neely
Protesters are hitting the streets of New York City after a 30-year-old subway busker was killed by a fellow passenger on Monday, May 1.
Jordan Neely–a Michael Jackson impersonator with a history of mental illness–was riding a northbound F train in Manhattan when he started making a scene, according to Juan Alberto Vazquez, a civilian who filmed the encounter.
Vazquez told the New York Post that Neely "started screaming in an aggressive manner. He said he had no food, he had no drink, that he was tired, and doesn't care if he goes to jail. He started screaming all these things, took off his jacket, a black jacket that he had, and threw it on the ground."
An unidentified 24-year-old marine took it upon himself to subdue the busker as he put him in a chokehold until he went limp. Following the encounter, Neely was then taken to Lenox Hill Hospital where he was pronounced dead, per ABC 7, and on Wednesday, his death was ruled a homicide by the city's medical examiner.
According to police, the passenger who put Neely in a chokehold was taken into custody but has since been released, and now protestors are demanding justice for Neely as New York City prosecutors search for answers.
Mayor Eric Adams told The New York Times that the incident was "tragic," and added that "there's a lot we don't know about what happened here."
He continued: "However, we do know that there were serious mental health issues in play here, which is why our administration has made record investments in providing care to those who need it and getting people off the streets and the subways, and out of dangerous situations."
Rep. Alexandra Ocasio Cortez took to her Twitter to address the incident as well, stating that "Jordan Neely was murdered," adding, "But bc Jordan was houseless and crying for food in a time when the city is raising rents and stripping services to militarize itself while many in power demonize the poor, the murderer gets protected w/ passive headlines + no charges. It’s disgusting."
Jordan Neely was murdered.
But bc Jordan was houseless and crying for food in a time when the city is raising rents and stripping services to militarize itself while many in power demonize the poor, the murderer gets protected w/ passive headlines + no charges.
It’s disgusting. https://t.co/YJeQp9bbgE
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 3, 2023
"This is a solemn and serious matter that ended in the tragic loss of Jordan Neely's life," Doug Cohen, press secretary for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, said in a statement shared with People. "As part of our rigorous ongoing investigation, we will review the Medical Examiner's report, assess all available video and photo footage, identify and interview as many witnesses as possible, and obtain additional medical records."
Adding, "This investigation is being handled by senior, experienced prosecutors and we will provide an update when there is additional public information to share."
Cohen urged those who may have witnessed the encounter to call 212-335-9040 to share any additional information.