The death of a homeless man choked by a Marine on the subway earlier this week was judged a homicide by the city medical examiner, as prosecutors considered whether to press charges.
Jordan Neely died as a result of “compression of the neck (chokehold),” and his death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner on Wednesday afternoon.
According to police and witness testimony, Neely, 30, was homeless and suffering a mental breakdown onboard a F train in lower Manhattan Monday afternoon when another straphanger moved in to detain him.
The wannabe vigilante, identified as a 24-year-old Marine from Queens, took down Neely from behind and placed him in a chokehold for about 15 minutes, police said.
Neely passed out and when EMS arrived, they were unable to revive him.
The medical examiner ordered additional testing after completing the initial autopsy to further examine the tissue on Neely’s neck, according to police sources.
A witness who filmed the disturbing encounter, Alberto Vazquez, told The Post that Neely was yelling at straphangers that he didn’t have any food or drinks and didn’t care if he went to jail before the Marine took him down.
Police had stated that Neely had threatened riders, but they did not know what words were exchanged.
According to law enforcement officials, Neely had “numerous” offenses on his record, including for narcotics, disorderly conduct, and fare beating – and that he had been living on the streets with a history of mental illness.
According to the reports, at the time of his death, he had a warrant out for his arrest in a November 2021 case in which he was suspected of beating a 67-year-old woman in the East Village.
The Marine was apprehended soon after the fatal incident but was later freed without charge.
When The Washington Post contacted him on Tuesday, he declined to respond.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office confirmed Wednesday that it was investigating Neely’s death — including whether to pursue charges against the man who choked him.
A spokesperson for the office said it was reviewing the medical examiner’s report.
“This is a solemn and serious matter that ended in the tragic loss of Jordan Neely’s life,” the spokesperson 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.”
The spokesperson added that the office will provide an update “when there is additional public information to share.”
A vigil for Neely, who was an occasional subway performer and Michael Jackson impersonator, on Wednesday turned into a protest as New Yorkers called for charges against the straphanger who choked him.
Native New Yorker and Brooklyn resident Lizzie No called the lack of charges “an outrage.”
“New Yorkers don’t deserve to be killed just for being poor,” No, 32, told The Post at the vigil-turned-protest.
As police failed to prevent Neely’s death, many protesters said the city should invest in social services and mental health support rather than increasing the NYPD budget and putting more cops in the subway system.
“The city spent millions of dollars on subway police, but instead of preventing crime, they let the murderer go.” “There are no charges,” claimed James, a 28-year-old Queens resident who declined to give his surname.
To commemorate Neely’s legacy and show his respects, Williamsburg florist Robert Jeffery brought an arrangement of white flowers to the vigil.
He stated that he believes Neely was innocent and should still be alive, but that he deserves at the very least justice.
“There’s been no charges. There’s been no type of accountability and with the overtime pay police are getting this should never have happened,” Jeffrey, 35, said.
Neely’s fans included Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.
“I saw Jordan Neely perform his Michael Jackson routine many times on the A train,” Levine said on Twitter Wednesday. “He always made people smile.
“Our broken mental health system failed him,” Levine wrote. “He deserved help, not to die in a chokehold on the floor of the subway.”
According to a 2012 story by the Star-Ledger, Neely was choked to death, exactly like his mother was in 2007, when he was only 14 years old.
Christine Neely, 36, was killed and packed in a bag, which was abandoned on the Henry Hudson Parkway on April 7, 2007, according to the publication.