The death of Jordan Neely, a homeless man who was choked by a Marine veteran on a New York subway train, has sparked outrage and protests across the city.
Hundreds of demonstrators have taken to the streets and subway stations, calling for the arrest and prosecution of Daniel Penny, the 24-year-old who restrained Neely for nearly three minutes before he died.Embed from Getty Images
Neely, 30, was reportedly acting erratically and throwing trash on the train before Penny intervened and put him in a chokehold. Penny claimed he acted in self-defense and to protect other passengers, but Neely’s death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner. Penny was questioned and released by the police hours after the incident, but the case is expected to go before a grand jury next week.
The National Action Network, a civil rights organization led by Rev. Al Sharpton, has demanded that Penny and two other individuals who helped him restrain Neely be charged with murder. Sharpton also questioned why Penny was not arrested immediately after the incident.
“Someone may use the word ‘unhinged.’ Well, who’s really unhinged when you look at the end of this incident? It’s the man who killed him. That’s who’s unhinged. That’s who everyone should’ve been afraid of,” said Lennon Edwards, an attorney representing Neely’s family.
On Saturday, protesters swarmed the Lexington Avenue-63rd Street station, where they jumped onto the tracks and blocked the doors of a Q train, causing delays and disruptions. They chanted “No justice, no peace!” and “Who killed Jordan Neely?” as they clashed with the police. At least seven people were arrested during the protest.Embed from Getty Images
A frustrated straphanger begged officers to help remove the demonstrators so he could get off the train while the protesters verbally berated him. They shouted “Find another train” and “You not getting off this train sir” at him, while offering him advice for other routes he could take.
The protest was one of several that have taken place since Neely’s death on Monday. On Wednesday, protesters crowded the Broadway-Lafayette station where the incident occurred and held signs that read “Justice for Jordan Neely” and “Stop killing black people.”
Neely’s death has also raised questions about the mental health crisis on the streets and subways of New York. Neely had a history of violent and erratic behavior, according to his family and friends, who said he suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He had been in and out of shelters and hospitals for years, but never received adequate treatment or support.
“For too long, those suffering from mental illness have been treated with indifference. We hope that out of this awful tragedy will come a new commitment by our elected officials to address the mental health crisis on our streets and subways,” said a statement from Penny’s attorneys.
- Protesters clash with NYPD over Jordan Neely chokehold death (New York Post, May 6, 2023)
- Jordan Neely’s NYC subway death by chokehold sparks calls for arrest of Marine veteran (Washington Post, May 4, 2023)
- WATCH: Protesters Flood NYC Subway After Jordan Neely Death (Breitbart, May 7, 2023)