Rev. Alexander Santora, the pastor at the Church of Our Lady of Grace in Hoboken, tweeted this morning that while it is sad Jordan Neely was choked to death, he was “out of line.”
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Neeley’s [sic] stance was threatening on the subway. Already punched, injured 2 sr. citizens & warrant out for his arrest,” he wrote this morning at 6:29 a.m.
“This is not racial; it’s protecting innocent riders when no police are present. He restrained him; sad he died. Neeley [sic] was out of line. Adams is right.”
Jordan Neely, 30, who was homeless, was having a mental episode while on the F train in lower Manhattan around 2:30 p.m. on Monday before a former Marine, identified today as Daniel Penny, placed him in a rear naked choke for nearly 15 minutes.
The incident was partially captured on video and has since made national headlines. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has said an investigation is underway and that stating Neely was murdered is inappropriate at this time.
“I have been extremely clear that the district attorney and the police department, they’re doing their investigations and I’m going to respect that. There are many layers to this. Let the process follow its course,” he said yesterday, per the New York Post.
His remarks came after U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-14) tweeted that Neely had been “murdered” and that it was “disgusting” his attacker had not been charged.
Just a few hours after AOC spoke out about the situation, the New York City Medical Examiner determined that Neely’s death was a homicide via a compression of the neck with a chokehold.
A rear naked choke is a submission maneuver that was popularized in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has become a common finish in MMA fights.
The hold can render someone unconscious in less than 10 seconds if applied properly by squeezing on both carotid arteries with the forearms while applying pressure from behind.
Applying the choke for minutes at a time can lead to death since it cuts off the airflow to the brain.
Penny still hasn’t been charged with a crime as of this writing.
Neely, a former Michael Jackson impersonator with an extensive arrest record, used to live in Bayonne and was just 14 years old when his mother was murdered and had her body left inside a suitcase on the Henry Hudson Parkway.
His father told the New York Daily News on Wednesday that Jordan was deeply traumatized by his mother’s killing.