Jordan Neely‘s death has led to widespread outrage across New York City and across the country. Charges have yet to be filed in the case, but the decision will likely be in the hands of NYC citizens rather than prosecutors.
via: ABC 7
The final decision to go to a grand jury has not been made yet but it is typical in cases where the circumstances are not clear-cut.
Already, detectives have interviewed more than a half-dozen witnesses and are looking to talk to “four or five more” who had close-in vantage points to what occurred. The Marine veteran seen on video restraining Jordan Neely has provided his version of events to investigators. He told police he was not trying to kill Neely, but only trying to hold him for police. The vet as well as other witnesses told detectives that Neely had been acting out in the subway car and a sense of fear had taken hold among passengers, but it was a sense of fear of the unknown.
Neely had not become violent and had not been threatening anyone in particular. The source said the sense of fear is the type of typical reaction New York subway riders feel when someone is ranting, raving, and acting out in the confines of a moving train car. (Also, police note there is a real fear of surging crime and mental illness that is now coursing through the population of a post-pandemic city.)
As it stands right now, the source said, it’s “clearly a homicide; but is it a murder?”
Importantly, detectives so far have no information suggesting that the veteran who administered the hold had been warned by onlookers that Neely was dying or suffering serious physical damage while being restrained. That’s important, according to detectives, because the man who held down Neely insists he was simply trying to restrain Neely, not hurt him.
In the meantime, protests are set for Friday in Neely’s death.
Both the family of the 30-year-old Neely, and the unidentified Marine veteran who subdued him, have retained lawyers.
Protestors at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn called for accountability on Thursday as the NYPD has issued a call for help in their investigation.
Activists demanded that charges be filed against the 24-year-old Marine veteran at the center of the disturbing video of Neely in a chokehold. That video shows Neely on the floor of a northbound F train.
Neely died from compression of the neck, the city’s medical examiner determined Wednesday.
Neely is recognizable to some New Yorkers as a Michael Jackson impersonator who regularly danced in the Times Square transit hub. On Monday afternoon, he was yelling and pacing back and forth on an F train in Manhattan, witnesses and police said, when he was restrained by at least three people, including the Marine veteran who pulled one arm tightly around his neck.
A physical struggle ensued, leading to Neely losing consciousness. He was rushed to Lenox Hill Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“What kind of standard are you setting when you do that? Are people gonna be able to start choking out every homeless person,” protest organizer Relly Rebel asked.
“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,” read a statement from a spokesperson for the DA.
The NYPD is asking for help from the public as investigators review video footage and other material and said the department’s “first priority is always to seek justice.