Calls for justice are growing after the chokehold death of Jordan Neely, a well-known Michael Jackson impersonator who struggled with mental illness, was ruled a homicide by a medical examiner, per NBC New York.
Police and fellow riders previously said a 30-year-old homeless man, now identified as Neely, began acting aggressively toward passengers upon entering a train on Monday (May 1).
"The man got on the subway car and began to say a somewhat aggressive speech, saying he was hungry, he was thirsty, that he didn't care about anything, he didn't care about going to jail, he didn't care that he gets a big life sentence," said Juan Alberto Vazquez, a passenger who recorded part of the incident. "That 'It doesn't even matter if I died.'"
Vazquez said he and other passengers on the train feared for their life, prompting a 24-year-old rider to put Neely in a chokehold, which lasted about 15 minutes.
Neely was unconscious on the car floor when officers arrived and ultimately died at the scene, according to police. The 24-year-old rider who delivered the chokehold was questioned and released by NYPD.
Investigators previously said they were waiting on the medical examiner's ruling to determine if the chokehold killed Neely. However, no charges have been filed against the 24-year-old passenger who put Neely in the deadly headlock.
Social media users and activists are demanding the passenger, who is reportedly a white former Marine, be arrested in Neely's death.
"What we're seeing is people deputizing themselves and not having a compassionate approach to mental health and homelessness," said one speaker at a rally held at the station where the incident unfolded.
The Manhattan district attorney's office said in a statement: "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."