A source close to the investigation has revealed that Jordan Neely, the homeless man who d!ed last week in the subway after being held in a chokehold, was on a list of people with critical needs. After shouting that he was hungry, thirsty, and had little to live for, another passenger fatally choked Neely, a 30-year-old street artist known for his Michael Jackson impersonations.
The medical examiner for New York City has pronounced his death a homicide, but that does not settle the question of who is responsible for his killing; that is up to the criminal justice system. The issue is still being looked into by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, although no charges have yet been brought.
A source informed CNN that Neely had been on a list of the city’s homeless with severe needs maintained by the NYC Department of Homeless Services, frequently referred to internally as the “Top 50″ list due to the fact that people on the list tend to vanish.
The source explained that the list is not widely distributed but is created so that outreach organizations may keep an eye out for the people on it and notify the city’s homeless services department if they encounter any of them. The organization devotes extra resources to tracking down the individuals on the list so that they can provide the necessary assistance.
Neely was a brilliant dancer, according to his friends and family, who say he made ends meet by performing Michael Jackson impersonations in Times Square and on the New York City subways. A friend and a relative say that he hit rock bottom in recent years, living on the streets and dealing with his mental health in the wake of the traumatic loss of his mother when he was a youngster.
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A law enforcement official told CNN’s John Miller that Neely had a significant arrest record with New York police prior to his m*rder, including 42 arrests between 2019 and 2021 for various offenses, including petty larceny, jumping subway turnstiles, theft, and three unprovoked assaults on women. CNN was told by a witness Neely’s bizarre behavior on the subway did not result in any injuries, and no one saw him with a weapon.
Lennon Edwards, an attorney for the Neely family, stated, “Passengers are not supposed to die on the floor of our subways.” His passing comes as New York City struggles with a mental health crisis and a growing homeless population, despite government efforts to address these problems. Attorneys for Daniel Penny, the 24-year-old passenger who held Neely down, have described the occurrence as an “awful tragedy.” Penny served in the United States Marine Corps.
Penny’s lawyers claim that Neely was “aggressively threatening” passengers before Penny and others “acted to protect themselves.” “Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death,” the law firm Raiser and Kenniff, P.C. said in a statement released on Friday. We pray that this tragic event will result in renewed efforts by our government to solve the mental health problem plaguing our streets and subways.
Here’s a tweet about Jordan Neely, if you’re interested:
Protesters have been calling for charges to be filed in the Neely case for days now. Outside Bragg’s office on Friday, protesters chanted, “Indict Daniel Penny” and “Why is the killer free.” Many protesters carried posters reading, “Jordan Neely deserved better from New York.” “We have people being killed for ringing the wrong doorbell, pulling in the wrong driveway and screaming out in desperation on the subway,” said Donte Mills, another Neely family attorney. “We cannot let that stand.”
New York City’s public advocate, Jumaane Williams, has called for criminal charges to be filed “immediately.” If you have a problem with a government program or rule, you can get some assistance from a public advocate. “To say anything else is an equivocation that will only further a narrative that devalues the life of a Black, homeless man with mental health challenges and encourages an attitude of dehumanization of New Yorkers in greatest need,” he said.
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