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Protesters Want Marine Vet Charged After Medical Examiner Rules Subway Death A Homicide

New York, NY – Manhattan prosecutors are investigating the death of a homeless man who was placed in a chokehold by another passenger on Monday after the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.

The incident occurred on May 1 on a New York City Subway F Train in Manhattan after 30-year-old Jordan Neely, a Michael Jackson impersonator, started pacing and yelling, WABC reported.

Witnesses told CNN that Neely was behaving erratically and ranting about being “fed up and hungry” and “tired of having nothing.”

Juan Alberto Vazquez, a freelance journalist who was on the subway train, said that Neely took off his coat, threw it on the floor of the train, and announced that he was ready to go to jail and get a life sentence.

Vazquez said most passengers started moving away from Neely but after the angry man started throwing things at other passengers, three people stepped up to restrain him, CNN reported.

He said one passenger approached Neely from behind and put him in a choke hold while two others helped take him down.

Vazquez said he started filming the incident a few minutes after it started.

The video showed Neely on the floor of the train car with another passenger’s arm around his neck, holding him down.

Vazquez said that after a while he observed that Neely had stopped talking and moving, CNN reported.

The video showed that Neely was held around the neck for two minutes and 55 seconds, BBC News reported.

New York Police Department (NYPD) officers responded to the downtown Manhattan subway station at about 2:30 p.m. and found Neely unconscious.

He was transported to Lenox Hill Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to CNN.

Law enforcement sources said Neely had been arrested 42 times in New York City on charges that included petit larceny, jumping subway turnstiles, theft, and three unprovoked assaults on women in the subway between 2019 and 2021.

The man who put Neely in the chokehold has been identified as a 24-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran from Queens, CNN reported.

Law enforcement sources said the veteran has no criminal record.

He was interviewed by police at the scene and released, according to CNN.

Police said other passengers corroborated the man’s story, including the fact that he asked them to call 911 as he attempted to restrain Neely, WABC reported.

On May 3, the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide and said that Neely had died due to “compression of neck (chokehold),” CNN reported.

Activists immediately called for the 24 year old to be charged with Neely’s murder and started protesting.

Prosecutors said they were still investigating and had not yet made any decisions on charges, CNN reported.

“This is a solemn and serious matter that ended in the tragic loss of Jordan Neely’s life,” Manhattan District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Doug Cohen said in a statement. “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.”

“This investigation is being handled by senior, experienced prosecutors and we will provide an update when there is additional public information to share,” Cohen added.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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