Family of homeless schizophrenic killed on NYC subway demand arrest

The family of a schizophrenic man who died on Monday after he was put in a fatal chokehold on the subway has called for the Marine veteran who restrained him to be arrested.

Jordan Neely, 30, Neely was reportedly throwing garbage at other passengers and ranting.

On Wednesday, Neely’s death was ruled a homicide by New York City coroners, and the Manhattan district attorney is weighing bringing charges.

Neely’s family on Friday

‘The family is outraged at what happened,’ said Lennon Edwards, one of their attorneys.

Lennon Edwards, one of the attorneys representing the family of Jordan Neely, said on Friday they want to see Daniel Penny 'behind bars'

Lennon Edwards, one of the attorneys representing the family of Jordan Neely,cites law enforcement sources who say the DA’s office have spoken with six witnesses, but are seeking at least another four. 

Neely had been arrested 42 times in the past, including for punching a 67-year-old woman in the face.But New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke for many when she said his criminal history was irrelevant.

‘Leaders want to raise his record as if that warrants a public execution on the subway?’ she tweeted.’What have we come to?’ 

Dario agreed, saying ‘100 percent [Penny should at least be charged]… No matter his reason or logic as to why that was happening at the moment, we need due process.'

The former Marine who put homeless man Jordan Neely in a fatal chokehold on the NYC subway has been formally identified as Daniel J.Penny (right) 

Neely went limp in Penny’s arms.When he was unresponsive, Penny released him and stood up 

Edwards agreed that his prior history should not matter, and nor should his ranting on the subway.

‘You don’t kill someone because you feel uneasy,’ he said. 

‘You feel uneasy when you talk to your boss: you feel uneasy when you talk to lots of people in the course of your day.

‘If we stick to what happened here, we have someone who began with – and sequence is important here – the first statement that we’ve heard out of his mouth, from witnesses, is that he said: ‘I’m hungry.’

‘That’s the problem.’

Edwards noted that Neely was wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt, giving ‘clear visibility as to whether someone is armed or not’.

Neely was not armed.

‘He was approached from behind, and put into a chokehold immediately.This is not a reasonable response to anything that took place before.

‘Some have used the word unhinged – well, who’s really unhinged when you look at this incident? It’s the man who killed him – that’s who everyone should have been afraid of.’

Edwards said that Penny was acting as a vigilante.

‘This is clearly the mentality of someone who says I am taking the law into my own hands.I am taking this situation into my own hands.

‘And I think it became less about protecting the people on the train, and more about how he felt about the person he had his arms wrapped around.’ 

Penny can be seen restraining him for 45 seconds even after Neely appears to go limp, and as a bystander warned: ‘You're going to kill him.'

After being warned that Neely could die, Penny (left) and the other man who helped restrain him (right) continued to restrain him for several more seconds.He jumped up when Neely became unresponsive 

The men then put Neely in the recovery position. His limbs were limp by this point

The men then put Neely in the recovery position. His limbs were limp by this point 

Initial footage showed Penny holding Neely in a chokehold while two other men restrained his arms, but it did not show the moment Penny released him. 

Witnesses say Neely, who was schizophrenic, was behaving erratically, throwing garbage and screaming that he wanted to ‘die’ or ‘go to jail’ because he was fed up about having no food. 

A longer video that emerged on Friday shows the three minutes and 52 seconds after the train pulled into Broadway Lafayette station on Monday at 2.30pm. 

The footage begins with Penny already restraining Neely in the chokehold.For two minutes and five seconds, Neely struggled on the floor, flailing his feet. 

He went limp after two minutes and six seconds, by which point a by-passer had stepped onto the train.

The man – who can be heard but is not seen – warned Penny that Neely had defecated, which he feared was a sign that he was dying.

‘He’s defecated on himself…you’re going to kill him now,’ he said. 

Another man who was helping Penny restrain Neely replied that it was an old stain on Neely’s trousers, and that Penny was no longer ‘squeezing’. 

‘He’s not squeezing?All right. Because after he’s defecated himself that’s it. You’ve got to let him go,’ he replied. 

He then warned of a ‘murder charge’.  

The second man turned to Neely and said: ‘Hey can you hear me?’. 

Met with silence, the man told Penny to stand up. 

Penny does not speak, but releases Neely and springs to his feet. 

The unidentified by-stander can be heard saying: ‘That was one hell of a chokehold, man.’ 

Over the next several seconds, Penny and the other man who had been helping him attempt to put Neely in the recovery position. 

After three minutes and 50 seconds, Neely appears to convulse or take a deep breath. 

The video cuts out at three minutes and 52 seconds.It is unclear whether he moved again.

Penny was questioned on Monday but has not been arrested. His attorneys say they have reached out to the NYPD and the DA's office to cooperate with the investigation

Penny was questioned on Monday but has not been arrested.His attorneys say they have reached out to the NYPD and the DA’s office to cooperate with the investigation 

Neely was later pronounced dead at the hospital. He had been known over the years for his Michael Jackson impersonations.

Neely was a Michael Jackson impersonator whose mental health deteriorated in recent years, according to his family

The NYC Medical Examiner who on Wednesday ruled Neely’s death a homicide has not confirmed the exact time of death. 

Police arrived at the scene but Neely did not regain consciousness. 

He was pronounced dead at Lenox Hill hospital later in the afternoon. 

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg must now weigh whether or not to bring charges. 

He and the NYPD are appealing to the public for information about the incident.There were no surveillance cameras on-board the train in question. 

In a statement on Thursday, a spokesman for the DA’s office said: ‘This is a solemn and serious matter that ended in the tragic loss of Jordan Neely’s life. 

‘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. 

‘This investigation is being handled by senior, experienced prosecutors and we will provide an update when there is additional public information to share. 

‘The Manhattan D.A.’s Office encourages anyone who witnessed or has information about this incident to call 212-335-9040.’

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