Al Sharpton’s National Action Network has joined a growing number of radical activists calling for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to press charges in connection with the choking death of Jordan Neely.
Protesters have rallied across New York City to demand justice for Neely, with protesters taking to the streets from Union Square to the 63rd Street-Lexington Avenue subway station. It is not yet clear if any arrests have been made. A grand jury is expected to convene next week to hear evidence in the case.
🚨 #BREAKING: Protests in New York City over the death of Jordan Neely are quickly escalating and becoming increasingly violent.
Will this 2020 end again? pic.twitter.com/qJQxS3rK1R
— Censored Men (@CensoredMen) May 6, 2023
Protesters actually took to the subway tracks in an effort to disrupt the train schedule.
Breaking: Protesters are now disrupting the NYC subway for Jordan Neely pic.twitter.com/NSO5UjAs7x
— Rebecca Brannon (@RebsBrannon) May 6, 2023
There were also protesters threatening to “tear down the city” unless the Marine who killed Neely is aggressively prosecuted.
Protesters in New York City angry over the death of Jordan Neely are threatening to “tear down the city” unless something is done about the Marine who killed him. pic.twitter.com/n8h2I598C0
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) May 7, 2023
On Friday, hundreds of protesters gathered in Washington Square Park to protest the city’s lack of care for the homeless and mentally ill, as well as the mayor’s inaction in response to the case.
“If we have to buckle down and get out here, it’s going to start showing up, it’s going to happen”
“Try to invade any of us, we’ll screw you up.”
Comrade Don Curtis, a convicted murderer and violent thief, leads a BLM-style protest for #JordanNeely in NYC.
— Andy Ngo 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) May 5, 2023
Meanwhile, the NYPD has issued an appeal for help in its investigation and is asking for the public’s help in reviewing video footage and other materials. In a statement, a DA spokesman said they would review the medical examiner’s report, evaluate all available video and photographs, identify and interview as many witnesses as possible and obtain additional medical records as part of their ongoing investigation.
The attorney for the Navy veteran who was involved in Neely’s death has issued a statement expressing his condolences for what he called a “horrible tragedy.” His attorney has identified the 24-year-old former Marine and college student as Danny Penny.
In a statement, the law firm of Penny, Raiser and Kenniff, PC, issued a statement Friday evening.
“When Mr. Neely began aggressively threatening Daniel Penny and the other passengers, Daniel, with the help of others, acted to protect himself until help arrived,” Penny’s lawyers said . “Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.”
The statement also hopes the tragedy will spur elected officials to take action to address the mental health crisis on the city’s streets and subways.
Law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation have said the investigation into the death by asphyxiation on the subway is ongoing. The case is likely to go to a grand jury next week, although a final decision has not yet been made. Detectives have already interviewed more than half a dozen witnesses and want to speak to “four or five more” who had views close to what happened.
Activists have called for charges to be brought against the Navy veteran at the center of the video that shows Neely in a choke hold. Neely died of neck compression, according to the city medical examiner. Neely was a well-known Michael Jackson impersonator who regularly danced in the Times Square transit hub. He died after being restrained by at least three people, including the Navy veteran, who pulled an arm forcefully around his neck.
According to sources, witnesses told police that Neely was erratic and hostile in his final moments.
“He burst out on the train and then started shouting violent language: ‘I don’t care if I die, I don’t care if I go to jail, I don’t have any food, I don’t have any drink. , I’m done,’” said Juan Alberto Vázquez, who recorded the video of the meeting.
Mayor Eric Adams spoke about the investigation and urged New Yorkers to withhold judgment.
“I’ll let the process take its place and those who think I should do something different, I respect that,” Adams said. “But I have to make the right decision for New York City.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke about the case Thursday and said Neely’s family deserves justice.
“Just looking at this video, you know it’s wrong, no one has the right to take another person’s life,” Hochul said. “Three people holding him until they took his last breath, I would say that was a very extreme response.”
On Wednesday night, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Jordan Neely was murdered.”
Neely had a record of 42 prior arrests for alleged local law violations between 2013 and 2021, including four for alleged assault, traffic fraud and criminal trespass. Many of the offenses were lower-level offenses, such as having an open container of alcohol in public. Some have defended the Navy veteran’s actions, while others have denounced it as an overreaction to someone suffering from mental illness.
Protesters gathered Wednesday afternoon at the station where the incident took place to demand an arrest. Sara Newman of the Open Hearts Initiative said Neely’s death “underscores a truth that people who have lived on the streets know particularly well: People who are homeless or mentally ill are at far greater risk of harm than of harming others.”
Al Sharpton has called for Neely’s death to be investigated as a possible homicide if not murder, citing the 1984 Bernhard Goetz case, in which a white gunman was convicted of a gun charge after shooting four black men on a New York City subway. train Juan Alberto Vazquez, the freelance journalist who recorded the incident, told the New York Post that Neely was yelling “in an aggressive manner” but did not attack anyone.
The city medical examiner said Neely died of neck compression and ruled the death a homicide. The Manhattan district attorney’s office said it is investigating and that any determination of criminal culpability would depend on the legal system.
“*” Indicates mandatory fields
OPINION: This article contains comments that reflect the opinion of the author.