Jordan Neely, a Black man who had performed as a Michael Jackson impersonator, was killed on a New York City subway train by a Marine Corps veteran who put him in a chokehold, the New York Timesreports.
The incident occurred on Monday, when Neely walked on the F train and began acting in a “hostile and erratic manner,” according to police. That’s when a the 24-year-old Marine, who has not been identified, got in an argument with Neely and placed him in a chokehold.
A second person came to help, as Neely struggled to escape the hold by flailing his arms and legs until he became unresponsive. Video of the incident, which according to NYT was shot by freelance journalist Juan Alberto Vazquez, has since circulated online and shows Neely becoming unconscious while a conductor calls for police.
Vazquez told NYT that Neely screamed, “‘I don’t have food, I don’t have a drink, I’m fed up,’” prior to being attacked. “‘I don’t mind going to jail and getting life in prison. I’m ready to die,” he also said. Vazquez also confirmed that Neely did not attack any passengers before being attacked himself.
First responders eventually took Neely to Lenox Health hospital in Greenwich Village, where he was pronounced dead. According to the NYPD, Neely had a documented mental health history and had been arrested more than 40 times.
The Marine Corps veteran was taken in for questioning but released without charges as police continue their investigation. Police sources claim the vet asked witnesses to call 911 as he held Neely in a chokehold.
“I’m not answering any questions,” he said in a statement to the New York Daily News. “I appreciate it, but I’m not answering any questions.”
After Neely’s death, videos of his work as a Michael Jackson impersonator began circulating online.
People have already begun gathering in New York City subway stations to protest the lack of accountability in Neely’s death.
Per ABC News, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called video of the attack “deeply disturbing” but did not say whether the man who killed Neely would face charges.