According to police officials and footage of the incident, a man having an apparent mental health episode on a New York City subway died this week after being put in a headlock by another passenger.
According to witnesses and police, Jordan Neely, 30, was yelling and pacing while on an F train in Manhattan on Monday afternoon when he was put to the ground by another rider.
A freelance journalist released a video of the altercation online, showing the man lying beneath Neely, holding him in a headlock while Neely struggled unsuccessfully to free himself for several minutes.
A second passenger restrained Neely’s arms while a third person supported his shoulder. Why the group had moved to control him was a mystery.
According to a representative for the New York City Police Department, Neely passed out during the battle.
The train halted at a station, and EMTs and police were dispatched.
Shortly later, Neely was declared dead at a hospital in Manhattan. The city’s medical examiner is looking into the cause of death.
The American subduer, 24, was born in the U.S. A former Marine was detained and later freed without being charged.
His identity has not been made widely known. According to a district attorney’s office in Manhattan, an inquiry is still ongoing.
Some New Yorkers remembered Neely from his years performing as a Michael Jackson impersonator, frequently inside the Times Square transit hub, as word of his passing spread online.
Strong opinions were expressed by New Yorkers and officials in response to the encounter’s video, with some portraying the Marine’s actions as a deadly overreaction to a person who was suffering from mental illness and others justifying Marine’s conduct.
According to Juan Alberto Vazquez, the independent journalist who videotaped the event for the New York Post, Neely was yelling “aggressively” and complaining of hunger and thirst.
Vazquez claimed that Neely did not physically assault anyone and that the 24-year-old approached the man after he tossed his jacket to the ground.
In the video’s opening scene, Neely is already lying on the floor of the subway car with the man’s left arm around his neck and his other arm pressed up against the man’s head.
The other man pins the other hand to his body while holding Neely’s extended arm. Neely is largely still, but after 30 seconds, she tries to escape the headlock. He finally becomes limp.
He continued that a person who killed a terrified, mentally ill person on the subway could be released without suffering any repercussions, which “is shocking.” “This is a complete travesty and must be looked into immediately.”
Many Democratic elected officials echoed those calls and referred to the incident as a low point for the city.
The mayor’s spokesman praised his administration’s funding of mental health programs. Still, he refrained from openly commenting on Neely’s passing, stating, “There’s a lot we don’t know about what happened here.”
Online memorial videos display a devoted following that liked running into Neely on their everyday journeys. According to YouTube comments, some people became worried when he vanished at the beginning of the year.
Actor Jason Williams remembered meeting Neely when he arrived in the city in 2007. Williams claimed that Neely, then a teenager, was a skilled Michael Jackson mimic who solicited money while moonwalking through the subway and lip-syncing to “Billie Jean.”
This was Jordan Neely, a hungry New Yorker choked to death by a grinning Marine who is being celebrated as a hero by NYPD and press. His offense? “Aggressive speech”, throwing his jacket on the ground and asking for food and water. pic.twitter.com/F3rRj30rQL
— Rafael Shimunov (@rafaelshimunov) May 3, 2023