NEW YORK (PIX11) – Jordan Neely’s father was too distraught to speak about his son’s death on Friday, but Neely’s godfather spoke out for him and against the man who put Neely in a deadly chokehold.
Neely, a 30-year-old homeless man, was killed on a Manhattan subway train on Monday. Another subway rider put Neely in a chokehold after Neely boarded the train and started acting erratically, according to a witness and police. Neely died from the chokehold, according to the city’s medical examiner, who ruled his death a homicide.
“This individual seems like he is a vigilante now, and those days are over with,” said Barry Knibbs, Neely’s godfather.
Knibbs had not been able to watch the video of his godson’s death until recently. “Come on man, where’s the justice?” Knibbs said.
Knibbs said the focus of the case has been more on what Neely allegedly did on the subway train and his mental illness, rather than the actions of the man who put Neely in the fatal chokehold. The man has been identified by police sources as a 24-year-old former Marine.
“He’s a veteran. He might be on some medication too. Something could’ve probably triggered him from whatever war he was involved in to cause him to do what he did,” Knibbs said.
Neely was known to many straphangers as a Michael Jackson impersonator, always seen dancing in the Times Square subway station. It’s how he will be remembered to those who only saw him in passing.
“He always called me Uncle Barry because me and his father go way back,” Knibbs said.
In 2007, Neely apparently fell into a dark place after the brutal murder of his mother. The family said he was never the same since. Over the years, Neely racked up more than 40 arrests. However, his family believes his past has nothing to do with how he died.
“He’s a good kid and he didn’t deserve what happened to him. He didn’t mean no harm to anyone at the end of the day,” Knibbs said.