Jordan Neely, 30, was yelling and pacing back and forth on an F train in Manhattan on Monday afternoon when he was restrained by at least three people, according to police and witnesses.
Video of the incident, posted online by a freelance journalist, showed a U.S. Marine veteran lying beneath Neely and holding him in a headlock position for several minutes as the homeless man unsuccessfully tried to break free.
Neely, a Michael Jackson impersonator, lost consciousness during the struggle and was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Stock image of a police officer and a police car. Jordan Neely, 30, was yelling and pacing back and forth on an F train in Manhattan on Monday afternoon when he was restrained by at least three people, including U.S. Marine Daniel Penny. He later died in hospital.
Outrage over Neely’s death has grown as video of the encounter spread online. Some have denounced it as a deadly overreaction to a person suffering from mental illness, while others have defended the Marine veteran.
On Wednesday afternoon, protesters gathered in the Broadway-Lafayette Street subway station where the incident took place to call for an arrest.
The individual in the video who got Neely in a chokehold was eventually identified as Daniel Penny, according to reports. He is a 24-year-old U.S. Marine veteran from Long Island, who is between deployments, according to a Mail Online report.
Attorneys for Penny with the law firm Raiser and Kenniff issued a statement Friday evening, offering condolences to Neely’s family and explaining their client’s actions.
“Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death,” the firm said, according to The New York Times. “When Mr. Neely began aggressively threatening Daniel Penny and the other passengers, Daniel, with the help of others, acted to protect themselves, until help arrived.”
Penny’s LinkedIn page details his military experience and states he is an infantry squad leader at the United States Marine Corps. He has worked for multiple years as an instructor of water survival as well as an infantry squad leader. Prior to this, he was an infantry assaultman.
Penny’s LinkedIn page also lists training he has taken part in, including an advanced assault Marine course, an urban breacher’s one and a water-survival course.
The New York Police Department Press Information Office told Newsweek about the incident. However, it did not say whether any charges would be pursued against Penny or the other civilians who intervened.
The Press Information Office said: “On Monday, May 1, 2023 at approximately 1427 hours, police responded to multiple 911 calls of an incident at the Broadway-Lafayette Street subway station, located within the confines of the 5th Precinct and Transit District 4.
“Upon arrival, officers discovered a 30-year-old male unconscious on the floor of a northbound ‘F’ train with a number of individuals standing at the scene.
“Officers began administering CPR and EMS [Emergency Medical Service] responded and transported the aided male to Lenox Health Greenwich Village, where he was pronounced deceased,” the office added.
“On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner deemed this incident a homicide. The deceased has been identified as follows: Neely, Jordan 30-year-old male Undomiciled.
“The New York City Police Department’s first priority is always to seek justice. As part of the ongoing investigation into this tragic incident, NYPD detectives are actively reviewing footage and all other available information.
“The NYPD continues to work closely with investigators at the Office of the Manhattan District Attorney. In an attempt to identify and interview as many witnesses as possible, the NYPD urges anyone who saw or has any information about this matter to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).” » …