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New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) publicly rebuked Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Thursday for describing the death of Jordan Neely as a "murder."
Neely was choked to death Monday while riding a subway train. Witnesses allege Neely was acting in a "hostile" and "erratic" manner while screaming, WABC-TV reported. That's when a 24-year-old Marine veteran, whose name has not been released, placed Neely in a chokehold. Tragically, Neely died from the restraint.
It's not clear if Neely had threatened violence, but he did not assault anyone.
The medical examiner ruled Neely's death a "homicide," finding he died from "compression of neck." The Marine who put Neely in a chokehold was questioned and released by police.
What did AOC say?
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is investigating the incident, but he has not yet filed any criminal charges. But the lack of any criminal charges did not stop Ocasio-Cortez from describing Neely's death as a "murder."
"Jordan Neely was murdered," Ocasio-Cortez declared on Wednesday.
\u201cJordan Neely was murdered.\n\nBut bc Jordan was houseless and crying for food in a time when the city is raising rents and stripping services to militarize itself while many in power demonize the poor, the murderer gets protected w/ passive headlines + no charges.\n\nIt\u2019s disgusting.\u201d— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1683150734
The progressive lawmaker also took specific issue with Adams' statement about the incident. Adams described Neely's death as "tragic" but refrained from offering specific comments about it because "there's a lot we don't know about what happened here." Adams also made note of Neely's alleged struggles with mental health.
In response, Ocasio-Cortez called Adams' statement a "new low."
"This honestly feels like a new low: not being able to clearly condemn a public murder because the victim was of a social status some would deem 'too low' to care about," she said.
How did Adams respond?
The mayor contended that Ocasio-Cortez was speaking irresponsibly because the investigation remains ongoing.
"I don’t think that’s very responsible at the time when we’re still investigating the situation," Adams said of her declaration, the New York Sun reported.
"Let the DA conduct his investigation with the law enforcement officials," he added. "To really interfere with that is not the right thing to do, and I'm going to be responsible and allow them to do their job."
Murder is generally defined as killing someone (a homicide) with intent or without legal justification. Manslaughter, on the other hand, is killing someone without intent.
While the Marine veteran has not yet been charged with any crime, the New York Daily News reported Thursday that investigators are weighing charges or presenting evidence to a grand jury to determine if there is sufficient evidence for charges.
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Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News