NEW YORK (PIX11) — Black Lives Matter protestors flooded the subway Wednesday afternoon calling for justice for Jordan Neely after the 30-year-old man was allegedly choked to death on the train.
Neely died from compression of the neck and the manner was a chokehold, the city’s medical examiner determined Wednesday.
The 30-year-old man was showing signs of mental illness, according to journalist Juan Alberto Vazquez, who recorded video of the incident that was shared on Facebook. A 24-year-old subway rider, who authorities said is also a Marine, then went up to Neely and put him in a chokehold, video of the incident showed.
The man was taken into custody for questioning on Monday and was later released without being charged, officials said. However, police and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office are investigating the incident.
Neely’s death prompted outrage after a video of the incident spread on social media. Some New Yorkers recalled encountering him during the years he spent performing as a Michael Jackson impersonator, often inside the Times Square transit hub.
“The mayor is responsible because he criminalized homelessness, ” said Hawk Newsome, cofounder of BLM. “What message is New York City sending to the rest of the world? It’s ok to choke and kill unruly black people?”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams released a statement Wednesday evening.
“Any loss of life is tragic. There’s a lot we don’t know about what happened here, so I’m going to refrain from commenting further. 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 of the streets and the subways, and out of dangerous situations. And I need all elected officials and advocacy groups to join us in prioritizing getting people the care they need and not just allowing them to languish.”