MANHATTAN - "Let's let the DA conduct his investigation with law enforcement officials." That's the message from Mayor Eric Adams following the death of a homeless man who was placed in a chokehold by a subway rider after allegedly acting aggressively toward other passengers.
The death has since been ruled a homicide by the NYC Medical Examiner's Office.
"Now it's in the hands of investigators to determine exactly what happened," Adams continued.
Adams appeared on CNN, warning fellow politicians not to jump to conclusions and to let the investigation play out.
"I don't think that's very responsible at the time," Adams said. "We're still investigating the situation. Let's let the DA conduct his investigation with law enforcement officials. To really interfere with that is not the right thing to do."
New video shows riders trying to subdue 30-year-old Jordan Neely. Lying on the floor of the subway car, a Marine veteran has Neely in a sleeper hold from behind while another man tries to immobilize his arms.
Video shows the marine veteran, with Neely in a sleeper hold from behind, while another man tries to immobilize his arms. (Storyful)
"That was deeply disturbing and that causes a lot of fear in people." Gov. Kathy Hochul said of the death, saying she's looking into Neely's history while emphasizing the importance of mental health services.
A separate video shows EMTs trying to revive Neely, who has a criminal record with a history of 44 prior arrests – many of them subway related, including disorderly, conduct, assault and fare evasion.
Video shows EMTs trying to revive Neely.
"We know that our system has failed and continues to fail many people in a circumstance similar to Mr. Neely," Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said.
Marine veteran released
As for the 24-year-old Marine veteran, he was taken into custody, interviewed by police and released without charges.
Some are calling for his arrest while others said he acted to subdue someone who was clearly threatening people in that subway car.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office confirms they are investigating the case to see if charges are warranted.
"The critical question here will be what was in the head of the person doing the subduing." Dmitriy Shakhnevich, a defense attorney and an adjunct professor at John Jay College, tells FOX 5 NY. "If that person reasonably believed that there was some imminent harm to himself or others, then he could act in a way that would be effective."
A vigil was held Wednesday afternoon for Neely. Dozens took to the platform of the Broadway-Lafayette subway station protesting his death.
Wednesday vigil on the platform of the Broadway-Lafayette subway station.
According to the medical examiner, Neely died as a result of compression of his neck caused by the chokehold.