A homeless man’s death has been ruled homicide by a medical examiner after he was choked by a Marine while riding a New York subway.
Jordan Neely, 30, was riding the train when he reportedly suffered a “mental episode”, leaving passengers concerned for his and their own welfare.
An unnamed 24-year-old Marine from Queens, New York, held the man down, grasping Neely’s neck in a chokehold.
On Wednesday afternoon, the city’s medical examiner ruled that the “compression of neck (chokehold)” was the reason for Neely’s death and that the manner in which it was exerted constituted homicide.
When medics arrived to Neely, who was restrained for around 15 minutes and passed out during that period, they were unable to revive him.
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The Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating the incident.
“As part of our rigorous ongoing investigation, we will review the Medical Examiner’s report, assess all available video and photo footage, identify and interview as many witnesses as possible, and obtain additional medical records,” a spokesperson for the DA said.
Further testing of Neely will be completed to examine the tissue on his neck, according to reports.
The encounter was filmed by freelance journalist Alberto Vazquez, who described how Neely was yelling on board the subway, telling passengers he didn’t care if he went to jail.
Neely – a Michael Jackson impersonator – has previous charges relating to the transport system, including for drugs, disorderly conduct and fare beating.
Police say that at the time of Neely’s death, a warrant had been put out for his arrest since November 2021, as he was accused of assaulting a pensioner in East Village, New York.
After the incident, the Marine was taken into custody and later released without charge.
A spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office confirmed it was investigating Neely’s death, as well as mulling over whether or not to pursue charges against the Marine.
They said: “This is a solemn and serious matter that ended in the tragic loss of Jordan Neely’s life.”
Members of the public joined together for a vigil for Neely but it turned into a protest as angry New Yorkers demanded charges against the Marine who choked Neely to death.
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