Image Source: New York Post website video screenshot composite
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A 30-year-old homeless man who was acting erratically and antagonizing other passengers on the New York subway Monday afternoon was subdued by a 24-year-old former Marine and at least two others. This apparent effort to restore order on the F train and address Jordan Neely's reportedly "threatening" behavior proved to be fatal.
The incident, involving a choke hold, resulted in Jordan Neely's death, which the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner ruled a homicide Wednesday evening.
Radical leftists immediately rushed to impose a racial framework on the incident, retroactively canonize the career criminal, and rule Neely's death a murder.
Conservatives and other commentators have suggested that the immediate demonization of the young former Marine is precisely the kind of knee-jerk mob response that has precluded capable citizens from intervening to protect their ailing Democrat-run cities from crime and violence.
What's the background?
TheBlaze previously reported that the incident unfolded on the train at the Broadway-Lafayette Street station at about 2:30 p.m. on Monday.
According to police, Neely had been harassing passengers on the subway.
Newsweek reported that Neely's criminal record includes 42 prior arrests between 2013 and 2021, including four for assault. At the time of his death, he had one active warrant for felony assault in connection with an incident in 2021.
“He said he had no food, he had no drink, that he was tired and doesn’t care if he goes to jail," said freelance journalist Juan Alberto Vazquez. "He started screaming all these things, took off his jacket, a black jacket that he had, and threw it on the ground.”
Vazquez indicated that the former Marine took Neely to the ground in a choke hold and kept him on the ground for approximately 15 minutes.
According to the New York Post, a black passenger who was aiding the blonde former Marine in subduing Neely reassured another passenger that "he's not squeezing no more," in reference to the choke hold.
"None of us who were there thought he was in danger of dying," said Vasquez. "We thought he just passed out or ran out of air."
During the choke hold, Neely reportedly lost consciousness. EMS workers were unable to revive him.
The former Marine who brought Neely to the ground was taken into custody but later released without charges.
A spokesman for the Manhattan district attorney's office said, "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," reported France 24.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams refrained from condemning the Marine or prejudging the situation, stating, "Any loss of life is tragic. There's a lot we don't know about what happened here, so I'm going to refrain from commenting further."
Knee-jerk reactions on the left
Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) tweeted, "Black men deserve to grow old—not be lynched on a Subway because they were having a mental health crisis. Jordan deserved better. Accountability now."
Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, who represents New York City in Congress and might therefore be able to help Pressley with her desired accountability, claimed "Jordan Neely was murdered."
Ocasio-Cortez went on to denounce Mayor Adams for not similarly rushing to judgment, tweeting, "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."
The Daily Mail reported that Adams sniped back at Ocasio-Cortez Wednesday night on CNN, saying, "I don’t think that’s very responsible at a time when we’re still investigating the situation. Let’s let the DA conduct his investigation with the law enforcement officials, to really interfere with that is not the right thing to do."
In a statement Wednesday, Rev. Al Sharpton drew a parallel between this incident and the 1984 Bernard Goetz case, in which a white man non-fatally shot four black men who allegedly attempted to rob him while on their way to rob an arcade.
"The National Action Network demands the District Attorney and police investigate this horrific incident as a potential case of manslaughter – if not murder," said Sharpton. "Thirty years ago, I fought the Bernard Goetz case and we cannot end up back to a place where vigilantism is tolerable. It wasn’t acceptable then and it cannot be acceptable now."
The leftist New York Working Families Party claimed that Neely had been "choked to death while people watched and cheered" — a detail not supported by footage of the incident — and further alleged he had been "brutally murdered."
Conservative commentator Mike Cernovich lashed out at Ocasio-Cortez and the others accusing the former Marine of being a murderer, tweeting, "These are wicked liars trying to lynch an innocent man."
Cernovich added, "You’re not a conservative if you think psychopaths should be able to threaten and taunt people on the subway. You’re not even a real American. You’re a neo-Bolshevik spiritually. You’d use the law to punish citizens while leaving the public at the mercy of criminals."
Matt Walsh similarly lambasted Ocasio-Cortez for her unilateral murder verdict, writing, "Innocent people are under no obligation to sit back and listen while a psychotic vagrant screams and threatens them. They have every right to assume that the harasser means them harm. Neely had assaulted many people in the past, so the assumption was a good one in this case."
Jack Posobiec, the senior editor of Human Events, noted that while "stopping deranged maniacs loose on public transportations systems is a public good," doing so "in a blue district - the Soros DA's will legally lynch you. That's reality in American cities now for self-defense and defense of others. Look at Kyle Rittenhouse and Daniel Perry."
Stephen Miller, contributing editor at the Spectator, suggested that Neely's death "is Michael Brown all over again. Kamala is going to be at his funeral. Meanwhile the media will never know the name of the 67 year old woman he assaulted and had an open warrant for. ... Racist state sanctioned hate crimes continue to happen in long held Democrat policy controlled cities. Political right to blame."
British commentator Carl Benjamin suggested a bias in the apoplexy over the incident, highlighting how the leftists keen to express their outrage in response to this incident were relatively silent "when a white woman was being raped by a black homeless man on the Philadelphia subway and dozens of bystanders did nothing."
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.