New York City Mayor Eric Adams said U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was “irresponsible” for saying that Joran Neely — a homeless man who was arrested a total of 44 times and had an active warrant for assaulting an elderly woman at the time of his death — was “murdered.”
Neely, 30, died on Monday after being placed in a chokehold by a U.S. Marine veteran after he erupted into an erratic rant on a New York City subway car. Neely reportedly threw garbage at passengers and yelled about how he wasn’t afraid to die or go back to jail, according to a report from the New York Post.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is currently investigating the incident and may bring charges against the veteran depending on autopsy results.
In response to the incident, U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has stated that Neely was “murdered” and has called for charges in multiple tweets.
“Jordan Neely was murdered,” wrote the New York congresswoman. “But bc Jordan was houseless and crying for food in a time when the city is raising rents and stripping services to militarize itself while many in power demonize the poor, the murderer gets protected w/ passive headlines + no charges. It’s disgusting,” she continued.
“It is appalling how so many take advantage of headlines re: crime for an obsolete ‘tough on crime’ political, media, & budgetary gain, but when a public murder happens that reinforces existing power structures, those same forces rush to exonerate & look the other way. We shouldn’t,” wrote Ocasio-Cortez in a follow-up tweet.
Her sentiment was backed up by another “squad” member in U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who insinuated that Neely was “murdered” because of his skin color and called for “accountability.”
A handful of New York officials also made similar statements before an investigation can play out. “NYC is not Gotham. We must not become a city where a mentally ill human being can be choked to death by a vigilante without consequence. Or where the killer is justified and cheered,” wrote New York City Comptroller Brad Lander.
It is appalling how so many take advantage of headlines re: crime for an obsolete “tough on crime” political, media, & budgetary gain, but when a public murder happens that reinforces existing power structures, those same forces rush to exonerate&look the other way. We shouldn’t.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 3, 2023
In an interview with CNN, New York City Mayor Eric Adams slammed both officials as “irresponsible.”
“Well both the congresswoman and the comptroller, the comptroller is a citywide leader. And I don’t think that’s very responsible at this time where we’re still investigating the situation,” Adams said. “Let’s let the D.A. conduct his investigation with the law enforcement officials. To really interfere with that is not the right thing to do and I’m going to be responsible and allow them to do their job and determine exactly what happened.”
BREAKING: NYC Mayor Eric Adams SLAMS AOC for calling Marine who put homeless man in fatal chokehold on subway a 'murderer'
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) May 4, 2023
Ocasio-Cortez soon responded to the mayor, saying that his statement represented a “new low.”
“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,” wrote Ocasio-Cortez in a tweet. “The last sentence is especially rich from an admin trying to cut the very services that could have helped him.”