Jordan Neely was a 30-year-old Michael Jackson impersonator and homeless man in New York City.
On May 1, 2023, he died after being put in a chokehold by another rider while riding the subway.
Who was Jordan Neely?
Jordan Neely was a homeless man from New York City.
He was recognizable to some city-goers as the Michael Jackson impersonator who used to dance in Times Square.
The 30-year-old reportedly struggled with mental illness.
According to CNN: “He had a history of encounters with the NYPD, a law enforcement source told CNN’s John Miller, including 42 arrests on charges including petit larceny, jumping subway turnstiles, theft, and three unprovoked assaults on women in the subway between 2019 and 2021.”
What happened to Jordan Neely on the subway?
On Monday, May 1, 2023, it was reported that Neely boarded a subway and went off on an aggressive rant that made riders visibly uncomfortable.
“The man got on the subway car and began to say a somewhat aggressive speech, saying he was hungry, he was thirsty, that he didn’t care about anything, he didn’t care about going to jail, he didn’t care that he gets a big life sentence,” Juan Alberto Vazquez, who was in the subway car and recording part of what happened afterward, told NBC4. “That ‘It doesn’t even matter if I died.'”
A man in the same subway car then put Neely in a chokehold until he stopped defending himself and was no longer moving.
Vazquez – a witness who recorded the encounter – told CNN that Neely had not attacked anyone on the train prior to being pinned down on the floor by a 24-year-old from Queens. It remains unclear as to what led up to the deathly encounter.
Jordan Neely cause of death
Neely was pronounced dead on the scene at the Broadway-Lafayette station in downtown Manhattan after the NYPD responded to a report of a physical fight in a northbound F train around 2.25pm.
A spokesperson for the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner revealed that Neely had died from “compression of neck (chokehold).”
Neely’s death was ruled a homicide, however, the former US Marine who put Neely in a chokehold was not charged.
New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams called for accountability in Neely’s death, saying in a statement: “Let’s be clear: any possible mental health challenges that Jordan may have been experiencing were no reason for his life to be taken.”
“My heart and condolences are with his loved ones during this difficult time. His killing at the hands of a fellow passenger and the responses to this violence that took his life have been not only tragic but difficult to absorb.”
Doug Cohen, a Manhattan District Attorney’s Office spokesperson also said in a statement: “This is a solemn and serious matter that ended in the tragic loss of Jordan Neely’s life.
“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.”