Jordan Neely subway chokehold latest: White House addresses ‘tragic and deeply disturbing’ death of homeless New Yorker

Sean Hannity audience member ‘cheers’ NYC subway rider who killed homeless passenger

A statement from the White House says the events surrounding the death of Jordan Neely “demand a thorough investigation,” as Manhattan prosecutors and police continue to investigate the case more than a week after the 30-year-old homeless street performer was choked to death on a subway traincar.

“Jordan Neely’s killing was tragic and deeply disturbing,” according to the statement from President Joe Biden’s administration.

The incident has prompted city, state and federal officials, advocacy groups and protesters to demand an arrest and call attention to urgently needed support for mental health services and people experiencing homelessness.

A veteran New York photojournalist was arrested on Monday night during a vigil and protest, one of several in New York City in the week after Neely’s death.

At least 10 people were arrested by NYPD officers, including photojournalist Stephanie Keith, who was filmed being carried away by police while displaying her press pass and announcing that she is a member of the press.

Widely shared footage from 1 May shows a men identified as Daniel Penny, a 24-year-old former US Marine, wrapping his arm around Neely’s neck on the floor of the traincar. He has not been charged with a crime.


Two dozen people arrested during protests over Jordan Neely’s death

Police arrested at least 11 people and discovered what officials called a Molotov cocktail during a vigil and protest marking one week after the death of Jordan Neely, a 30-year-old homeless street performer who was placed in a fatal chokehold inside a Manhattan F train.

Photojournalist Stephanie Keith was filmed being arrested and placed into a New York City Police Department van near protests at Houston Street and Broadway on 8 May. A press pass and camera equipment are clearly visible in widely shared footage of her arrest.

Those arrests follow the arrests of 13 others during protests on Saturday, as demonstrators continue to press city officials and law enforcement for justice in the wake of Neely’s death. No charges have been filed in the case.

Alex Woodward10 May 2023 08:00


AOC and MTA chief urges passengers to ‘deescalate’

Janno Lieber, head of the MTA, said on Friday that he is waiting a decision from prosecutors in the death of Jordan Neely, but urged passengrs to “find a way to deescalate” if “challenges” emerge on the subways.

“We’re gonna renew our efforts to make sure that people understand that when you’re in the subway together, they’re going to be challenges, when you’re in the public space together there are going to be challenges, but we have to find a way to deescalate,” he said.

He called the video showing Neely’s final moments while he is placed in a chokehold “really troubling and upsetting.”

New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also told New York magazine that “de-escalation is a skill set.”

“It is something that every single one of us could learn. It is something that could even be a matter of public education and public-health campaigns,” she added. “Sometimes a person may be at a 10 emotionally, and the smallest gesture of humanity can help them out.”

Alex Woodward10 May 2023 07:00


Who is Jordan Neely?

Following his mother’s murder when he was 14 years old, Jordan Neely came to be known as an expert Michael Jackson impersonator, honing his act at Washington Irving High School in Manhattan before performing on the subway and in Times Square, his skills evident in a number of videos widely shared on social media in the wake of his death.

But his mental health appeared to deteroriate in recent years, as he experienced homelessness and repeatedly evaded homeless outreach services and healthcare as he came in contact with law enforcement.

Alex Woodward10 May 2023 06:00


White House calls for ‘thorough investigation’ into Jordan Neely’s death

The death of Jordan Neely demands a thorough investigation, according to a statement from President Joe Biden’s administration, speaking publicly for the first time on the killing of the 30-year-old homeless New Yorker who was placed in a fatal chokehold on a Manhattan subway train last week.

“Jordan Neely’s killing was tragic and deeply disturbing,” White House spokesperson Robyn Patterson said in a statement shared withThe Independent on 9 May.

Alex Woodward10 May 2023 04:00


One of the attorneys representing Daniel Penny challenged Alvin Bragg for Manhattan DA

Daniel Penny, who was filmed with his arm around Jordan Neely’s neck, has retained legal representation from attorneys with the firm Raiser and Kenniff. Mr Penny has not been charged with any crime.

Thomas Kenniff unsuccessfully ran for Manhattan district attorney as a Republican in 2021, ultimately losing to Alvin Bragg, who received more than 82 per cent of the vote.

In a debate against Mr Bragg that year, he slammed “misguided criminal justice policies that embrace criminals at the expense of victims,” what he said has resulted in an “increase in violent crime and a decrease in quality of life like nothing we have experienced in years.”

Alex Woodward10 May 2023 03:00


Neely’s death is a ‘wake-up call’ for urgent response to mental health crisis, governor says

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the death of Jordan Neely should serve as a “wake-up call” for government officials to urgently respond to a growing mental health crisis.

Her remarks on Monday came as she announced a $1bn pldge to update the state’s mental health programmes.

“People fall through the cracks. Sometimes they’re visible, sometimes you see them,” she said in remarks from Buffalo.

“And we think about the young man, Jordan Neely, who was in New York City in the throes of a crisis who was tragically killed on the subway this week. His death is clear evidence that we need support,” she added. “We need alternatives for these individuals so they’re not regulated to that kind of life. So those of us in government, it is a wake up call.”

Alex Woodward10 May 2023 02:00


Jordan Neely’s death recalls the outcome of an infamous 1980s case

Prosecutors could weigh criminal charges against the man who put Jordan Neely in a fatal chokehold, though that likely will not include the charges of murder, according to legal experts.

Charges could depend on whether a “reasonable” person would have acted similarly.

A person who uses deadly force must not only prove that they feared for their own life or someone else’s but that any reasonable person would have felt the same way, under New York’s penal code.

“Suppose the Marine says, ‘I honest to God thought I had no choice but to save someone,’ the question would be whether an objectively reasonable person in his circumstances would have felt the same,” according to Mark Bederow, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan, speaking to NBC New York.

The state’s highest court clarified that statute in 1986 in a case involving the Bernhard Goetz’s 1984 shooting of four teenagers on a subway.

The white pasenger shot four young Black men after one of them asked him for $5. He claimed that he thought he was being robbed. A jury ultimately acquitted Goetz of attempted murder but convicted him of carrying an unlicensed handgun.

Alex Woodward10 May 2023 01:00


ICYMI: Al Sharpton demands criminal charges in Jordan Neely’s death

In an address on Saturday, the Rev Al Sharpton urged criminal charges to be brought against people involved in the chokehold death of Jordan Neely on 1 May.

“If you do not prosecute … you will set a standard of vigilantism that we cannot tolerate,” he said from Harlem. “The precedent alone is a threat to all of us. We cannot allow this lawlessness to go unchecked.”

He said charges should not only be brought against Daniel Penny but also the two subway passengers who appeared in a video alongside him.

“You’re not going to choke this young man to death and not let us stand up and raise our voices,” Mr Sharpton said. “From a civil rights point of view, we are petitioning [that] the choker and the two folks helping him are all brought before a grand jury.”

The New York medical examiner’s officer declared Neely’s death a homicide; it is not a criminal determination but manner of death.

Alex Woodward10 May 2023 00:00


About that ‘Molotov cocktail’

New York City Police Department officials reported that a “Molotov cocktail” was recovered on Monday night during protests calling for an arrest for Jordan Neely’s death.

That weapon appears to be a Topo Chico bottle with a napkin or fabric inside with a small amount of unknown liquid. Officials have not revealed what that liquid is.

A post about the bottle on the NYPD’s official Twitter account also received a “community note” from the platform that casts doubt on whether it is a Molotov cocktail.

“While these materials could technically be used in the making of a molotov cocktail, this picture does not show a molotov cocktail, or provide evidence that one was made,” the note reads.

Mayor Eric Adams blamed “outside agitators”; the incident also has drawn comparisons to false claims from NYPD officials about pallets of bricks used by protesters in 2020 and unfounded claims from NYPD officers that a restaurant poisoned their milkshakes.

Alex Woodward9 May 2023 22:45


Press association defends photojournalist arrested during protests

The New York Press Photographers Association described Stephanie Keith as “an intrepid photojournalist” in a statement of support after her arrest while photographing protests on Monday night.

“We support our colleague and believe that a review of the evidence and circumstances will compel the Manhattan DA to drop any charges against her,” according to a statement obtained by the Associated Press.

Video shows Ms Keith attempting to use a crosswalk before Chief of Patrol John Chell, one of the highest-ranking members of the NYPD, appears to push her back and shout “lock her up” as he moves her towards other officers to be placed under arrest.

She was handcuffed and detained in a police van before her release with a summons.

During a press conference on Monday night, Mr Chell claimed that she “interfered” with NYPD’s arrests. Ms Keith said in a post on her Instagram account that she was standing with other photojournalists far from where the arrests were taking place.



Alex Woodward9 May 2023 22:00

Written by Aloys Gautier

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