After the killing of a fellow subway passenger at the hands of a former U.S. Marine generated fresh worries about the city’s treatment of persons with mental illness and homelessness, Friday was set aside for demonstrations in New York City.
According to the medical examiner for the city of Manhattan, the unidentified former Marine who crushed 30-year-old Jordan Neely’s neck on the F train on Monday has not been prosecuted.
When deciding whether or not to bring charges during a murder investigation, prosecutors will consider variables such as intent and accountability.
According to local media, Neely, a Black guy, was living on the streets. On Monday, local media reported that the white 24-year-old former Marine had been questioned by police and released. Local protest organizers have called the event a “lynching” and an example of “white vigilantism” against persons of color. A number of civil rights and left-wing groups planned protests for Friday afternoon and evening.
The New York Young Communist League staged a protest outside the Manhattan district attorney’s office, demanding that he bring charges against the ex-Marine and initiate an inquiry into the police officers who let him go without being charged.
The protest was announced on Instagram with the caption, “Neely needed food and adequate housing, but instead, our racist, capitalist system facilitated his murder for experiencing homelessness.” Demonstrators were scheduled to return to Washington Square Park around six o’clock that evening.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has said that he thinks mental health issues had a role in the incident, but would not comment while the investigation is continuing.
Following a number of attacks on train passengers, mostly Asian Americans, last year, Adams cited rising homelessness as a reason for more police patrols and expanded outreach to the mentally ill in the subway system.
A video of the incident, which went viral on social media, showed an unidentified rider strangling a man called Neely for about three minutes as he lay on the floor of a subway vehicle. Two more men can be seen on the video keeping Neely’s arms down before he became limp.
Neely would often dress up as Michael Jackson and do dance routines on New York City subways and subway stations. According to the New York Times, a conflict occurred when he boarded the train and began yelling at people, claiming he was hungry and ready to die.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat in Congress who represents portions of the Bronx and Queens, has called for Neely’s killer to be brought to justice.
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