On Monday, Jordan Neely, a 30-year-old Black man who performed as a Michael Jackson impersonator, was having a mental health crisis on the F train in New York City. According to bystanders, he declared he was hungry, thirsty, and tired, and that he didn’t care if he went to jail that night. He was loud but didn’t touch anyone on the train. Instead of being met with compassion, he was murdered. A white man whose name is not being released – we only know that he was a former Marine – put Jordan Neely in a chokehold, strangling him for 15 minutes as another person held him down. Jordan Neely died from the chokehold. His murderer was not charged; he was promptly released from police custody. Neely was executed for being poor, Black, and disabled. Even as crime in New York continues to go down, copaganda and media reporting against the homeless and people with disabilities is increasing. Neely should not have been hungry, thirsty, and tired. He should have had a home with food. He should have had the medication and mental health support he needed. And his killer should not get away with murder. Eric Adams, current New York City mayor and former cop, has been calling for people with mental health disabilities to be hospitalized, creating anti-homeless panic and calling for more cops on the subway even as crime in the city has gone down. While hospitalizing those who need help sounds like a quick fix, it only empowers the police to brutalize with more impunity, adds more money to private hospitals which essentially warehouse without adequate treatment, and burdens the understaffed workers. Solutions for this issue are free housing, increased wages, and full employment, as well as training workers – not police – to help people with disabilities and those in crisis. By releasing the killer without charge and protecting him by not releasing his name, the police deputized him, and the capitalist media is complicit. We should denounce the police as agents who empower killer vigilantes like the man who strangled Jordan Neely. This murderer must be exposed, not coddled.
Julia Wallace in Jordan Neely Was Executed for Being Poor, Black, and Disabled (Leftvoice.org)