NEW YORK (PIX11) — Mayor Eric Adams finally broke his silence on the death of Jordan Neely, saying the troubled man’s death was a tragedy while sidestepping the ongoing investigation.

“Jordan Neely did not deserve to die,” Adams said Wednesday.

Neely was a 30-year-old homeless man who died on May 1 after being placed in a chokehold on the subway by another subway rider, Daniel Penny, an ex-Marine, according to city officials. Penny said he was acting in self-defense. The medical examiner’s office ruled last week his death was a homicide. 

Neely had been screaming at other passengers but hadn’t attacked anyone, according to a freelance journalist who recorded a video of his final minutes.

Neely had struggled with mental health after growing up in the foster care system, his foster brother told PIX11 News. After aging out of the system, he impersonated Micahel Jackson on the trains to scrape money together.

Adams said several city agencies tried to help Neely but were ultimately unsuccessful. The mayor will be holding a summit next week with the departments to ensure people in crisis get the assistance they need, Adams said.

“There are more Jordans out there. The only way they can be helped is through intervention,” the mayor said.

Neely’s funeral will be held at Mount Neboh Baptist Church on May 19. The family asked Rev. Al Sharpton to deliver the eulogy.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is investigating the incident and no charges have been announced. Adams did not say whether charges should be filed.

“His death is a tragedy that never should have happened,” Adams said.