On Monday, a subway passenger who put a 30-year-old Black man in a chokehold and forced him to stop moving in Times Square ki!!ed him. The altercation happened as the F train approached Broadway-Lafayette station in SoHo from the north.
Witnesses claim Jordan Neely, a Michael Jackson impersonator known to particular New Yorkers, was acting strangely at the time. A freelance journalist named Juan Alberto Vazquez recorded Neely kicking while being restrained by passengers, and he posted the video footage to Facebook.
Although the man who held Neely down has not been named, local reports have identified him as a 24-year-old former US Marine. Neely was in a chokehold with the man’s legs encircling his body; he passed out during the battle and eventually passed away in the hospital.
The city’s medical examiner found on Wednesday that Neely d!ed from compression of the neck, characterizing it as a homicide. The office stated that the judicial system will be in charge of making any determinations about criminal guilt.
Video of the interaction sparked intense reactions from New Yorkers and authorities as word of Neely’s murder emerged online. Others defended the actions of the former marine, while some saw them as a deadly overreaction to a person suffering from mental illness.
On Wednesday afternoon, a group of demonstrators gathered in the station where Neely perished to demand an arrest. A 38-year-old resident of Harlem named Kyle Ishmael described watching the incident’s footage as making him feel “disgusted.”
He remarked, “I couldn’t believe this was happening on my subway in my city that I grew up in,” In the incident’s video, a voice could be heard requesting the police as Neely attempted to push another rider holding his arms away, claiming that the rider holding his neck was not squeezing him.
The hold on Neely lasted two minutes and 55 seconds, as can be seen in the video. Following high-profile incidents and ki!!ings, the New York Subway’s crime rates became a concern. However, they have decreased recently.
Eric Adams, the mayor of the city, and Kathy Hochul, the governor of the state, point to increased police presence as a significant reason.
According to Vazquez, who posted on Facebook that he spotted the incident while traveling to a date in Yonkers, he was on his way. Neely got on the train and started screaming at everyone.
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Vasquez spoke of a “very tense situation” in which Neely’s future course of action was unknown. “‘I don’t have food, I don’t have a drink, I’m fed up,’” Vasquez said the man yelled. “‘I don’t mind going to jail and getting life in prison. I’m ready to d!e.’”
Police apprehended the biker who choked Neely. He was let go without being charged. A representative for the New York police department told the Guardian on Wednesday that the inquiry was “ongoing”.
The veteran was detained and later released without being charged. He appeared to be white. His identity has not been made widely known.
Additionally announcing an investigation, the Manhattan district attorney’s Office. “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,” a spokesperson for the DA told the Associated Press.
Coalition for the Homeless executive director Dave Giffen criticized local and state officials for their insufficient reaction to the mental health issue and questioned why the veteran was not being prosecuted.
“The fact that someone who took the life of a distressed, mentally ill human being on a subway could be set free without facing any consequences is shocking,” he said. “This is an absolute travesty that must be investigated immediately.”
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