• Press Release

Amnesty International Decries Death of Jordan Neely and Calls for Accountability

May 4, 2023

Responding to the horrific death of Jordan Neely, an unarmed 30-year-old Black man who was put in a chokehold while experiencing a mental health crisis on the New York City subway on May 1, Justin Mazzola, researcher at Amnesty International USA, said: 

“The death of Jordan Neely in the NYC subway was a senseless tragedy, and Amnesty International welcomes the investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office into this loss of life. People cannot take the law into their own hands in response to a conflict or altercation in public spaces. Amnesty International is calling for the investigation into this homicide to be open and transparent and that the family and loved ones of Jordan Neely be kept updated on its developments.”  

“Jordan Neely was a beloved street artist and dancer living in NYC who felt his most free when he was performing. He had been struggling with homelessness and mental health challenges. On the day of his death he was at his most vulnerable. Bystanders reported he was yelling that he was hungry and thirsty, but instead of being offered support, he was attacked and killed. This speaks to a larger issue of the mental health crisis in this country and how we respond to those in crisis.”

“People who are unhoused and living with mental health issues are not disposable. Amnesty International calls on the City and State of New York to investigate the circumstances of Jordan Neely’s situation and determine why so many people like him are falling through the cracks throughout New York City due to its failure to provide adequate housing, mental health and other social services to those most in need.”  

“At least three individuals were arrested on May 3 following a vigil and protest at the Broadway-Lafayette subway station where Jordan Neely died. However, the cell phone video of his death is bound to cause people to take to the streets with protests planned on May 4 and 5. The NYPD must facilitate the right to peaceful assembly for all of those who take part in remembering Jordan Neely and calling for accountability for this tragic loss of life.”  

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