Several Detained at NYC Protest for Jordan Neely, Man Who Strangled Him to Death Remains Free

Police in New York City have met protests over Jordan Neely's chokehold death with a predictable response, including the arrest of a photojournalist.

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Police in New York defended their arrests of multiple people during protests in response to the chokehold death of Jordan Neely this week using the typical arguments offered by law enforcement in such incidents.

During a press conference on Monday night, NYPD officials spoke about the arrests that took place during a protest of around 150 people near Houston and Broadway.

As previously reported, Neely—a Black 30-year-old Michael Jackson impersonator—was killed by 24-year-old Daniel Penny, a white man, on the subway earlier this month. A medical examiner ruled Neely’s death a homicide. At the time of this writing, Penny, who released a statement regarding the incident, has not been charged in connection with Neely’s death.

Jordan Neely's family has released a statement: “Daniel Penny’s press release is not an apology nor an expression of regret.”

— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 8, 2023

During the Monday press conference, police said they “made about 11 arrests” during the recent protest, including a photojournalist. Referring to the journalist as “a reporter” in the press conference, NYPD chief of patrol John Chell claimed the individual “interfered in at least two arrests.” Chell added that the individual was “placed under arrest” after they “interfered a third time.”

However, the photojournalist told a very different story.  

Per a report fromGothamist, the photojournalist in question is Stephanie Keith. In an Instagram update shared on Monday, Keith said she was “flabbergasted” by her arrest, adding that she was actually “standing apart from where there were arrests.”

Footage of violent arrests has circulated across social media, including the following clip, shot by New York City Council member Chi Ossé, that’s said to show an arrest occurring during a candlelight vigil for Neely:

NOW: Cops are arresting journalists at this evening’s candlelight vigil for Jordan Neely.

— Chi Ossé (@OsseChi) May 9, 2023

During a press conference, the NYPD, who was previously the subject of a 2018 BuzzFeed News investigative report that found several officers lied under oath, claimed that a Molotov cocktail was recovered from the protest. 

Breaking news: this is not a molotov cocktail

— Stop Cop City (@JoshuaPHilll) May 9, 2023

Per WNBC, a rep for the White House said Tuesday that “events surrounding [Jordan Neely’s] death demand a thorough investigation.”

In other news, NYC recently agreed to pay up to $6 million to demonstrators who were boxed in by police during racial justice protests that took place in 2020.

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