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New Yorkers, Lawmakers Demand Accountability in Vigilante Killing of Beloved Subway Performer

HeadlineMay 05, 2023

Here in New York, protests continue amid mounting anger over the killing of street performer Jordan Neely, who was choked to death by another subway passenger Monday while being held down by another two riders. Neely, an unhoused 30-year-old Black man, was crying out that he was hungry when he was fatally attacked on the train. No one has been arrested or charged despite the death being ruled a homicide by the medical examiner. Neely was a beloved fixture of the New York City subway for his performances impersonating Michael Jackson. A number of lawmakers have joined the chorus of voices condemning the vigilante-style murder and Mayor Eric Adams, who has demonized and cut services for unhoused people and mental illness while flooding the train system with police. New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said in a statement, “Racism that continues to permeate throughout our society allows for a level of dehumanization that denies Black people from being recognized as victims when subjected to acts of violence. … Any possible mental health challenges that Jordan may have been experiencing were no reason for his life to be taken.”

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