New York Mayor Eric Adams criticized Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for referring to Jordan Neely’s homicide as a murder amid outrage over the homeless man’s death.
A marine named Daniel Penny choked Neely to death on a New York subway train on Monday (May 1). Penny put Neely in a chokehold after the homeless man started acting erratically.
Neely was stuck in the chokehold for several minutes and died from compression of the neck. Penny wasn’t arrested, but the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office launched an investigation.
Mayor Adams called Neely’s death “tragic” in a statement on Wednesday (May 3). Ocasio-Cortez chided Mayor Adams for not condemning Neely’s killer.
“This honestly feels like a new low: not being able to clearly condemn a public murder because the victim was of a social status some would deem ‘too low’ to care about,” she wrote on Twitter. “The last sentence is especially rich from an admin trying to cut the very services that could have helped him.”
Mayor Adams responded to AOC on CNN. He claimed it was irresponsible for her to refer to Neely’s death as a murder.
“I don’t think that’s very responsible at the time where we’re still investigating the situation,” he said. “Let’s let the D.A. conduct his investigation with the law enforcement officials.”
Neely’s father Andre Zachery urged authorities to arrest Penny. Zachery was baffled by the lack of criminal charges against his son’s killer.
“I just want something to be done,” Neely’s dad told the New York Daily News. “Obviously he was calling for help … He wasn’t out to hurt nobody. He was a good kid and a good man too. Something has to be done.”
A medical examiner ruled Neely’s death to be a homicide. He was 30.