Medical Examiner Deems Jordan Neely Subway Death a Homicide
A medical examiner in New York deemed the death of Jordan Neely on a subway train at the hands of another passenger a homicide.
The incident occurred on Monday this week on the F train at the east Houston and Lafayette Street station after Neely had been allegedly throwing trash and yelling at passengers about his economic misfortunes. Neely had a history of mental issues and often frequented the station as a Michael Jackson impersonator. He also had an active warrant for his arrest for a felony assault. Per CBS News:
Police sources say around 2:30 Tuesday afternoon, Neely was allegedly throwing trash, yelling at passengers and acting erratically on the F train at the east Houston and Lafayette street station.
Things quickly escalated when the 24-year-old tried to subdue him by using what appears to be a chokehold.
CBS2 has learned Neely was homeless, had a history of mental illness, and had an active warrant out for his arrest for a felony assault.
The alleged former marine held Neely in the chokehold for several minutes; he remains unidentified. Neely lost consciousness and eventually died, according to police.
According to New York Daily News,
NYPD busted Neely 42 times across the last decade and he had a documented mental health history with police, with his most recent arrest in November 2021 for slugging a 67-year-old female stranger in the face. A warrant for his arrest on felony assault charges was issued on Feb. 23.
Members of the community have expressed outrage over his death.
“We’re just outraged as a community that there has been nor arrest or formal of charges against the man who has yet to be identified who killed Jordan Neely,” a community member told CBS News.
“This is absolutely devastating. Should have never happened. We have been pleading with MTA and state to put in social workers, deploy them into the subway system,” Jack Nierenberg of Passengers United told CBS News.
Other passengers believed that they were in danger and blamed the New York Police Department for not showing up in adequate time.
“It’s unfortunate that he died, don’t get me wrong,” Washington Heights resident Camille Garreaud said. “The NYPD doesn’t have that many officers, at least to my knowledge–you can’t have an officer on each train car all the time.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and NYC Mayor Eric Adams both released statements and highlighted the importance of dealing with mental health issues.
“One element we haven’t talked about is the billion dollar investment in mental health services so we don’t have people who are homeless in our subways, many of them in the throes of mental health episodes. And that’s what I believe are some of the factors here,” Hochul said. “There are consequences for behavior. I will look at it more closely to find out whether the state has a role.” Hochul added:
That was deeply disturbing, and that causes a lot of fear for people, and actually the mayor and I are working so hard to restore that sense of safety. We have cameras on the subway, more police officers, were assisting with overtime. We have been doing so much and the numbers are improving. The number of crimes on subways is declining and I don’t want people to feel anxious again when something like that comes to light. It was deeply disturbing.
The Manhattan DA’s office said that it will be investigating the incident but did not say if it will be filing charges against the unidentified man. Rev. Al Sharpton also condemned his death, calling it potential murder.
“The National Action Network demands the District Attorney and police investigate this horrific incident as a potential case of manslaughter – if not murder,” Rev. Al Sharpton said. “Thirty years ago, I fought the Bernard Goetz case and we cannot end up back to a place where vigilantism is tolerable. It wasn’t acceptable then and it cannot be acceptable now.”
Other people on social media described it as a lynching. Protests have since erupted around the subway station.