Jordan Neely and NYC's Crime Problem

What we know: On Monday, Jordan Neely, who was experiencing homelessness, was acting erratically on the New York City subway and harassing other passengers. He was restrained by a 24-year-old Marine and died during a chokehold. The city medical examiner called the death a homicide, though no charges have yet been brought against the Marine, who hasn’t been named. Activists have planned protests for today to demand charges and “justice.”

Crime and mental illness: Last year, crime in the city reached its highest point in over 15 years, with rates this year already reaching similar levels, due in part to ineffective policing in the past and soft-on-crime policies enabled by the Soros-funded district attorney. Mental health in the city is a problem too—late last year, Mayor Eric Adams announced a plan to forcefully detain more mentally ill people.

“We need to be extremely clear that from Day 1 of this administration, I focused on: We cannot have people with severe emotional illnesses on our subway system,” Adams said.

Even The New York Times highlighted the severity of the problem:

Every New Yorker has a story of witnessing an outburst or a violent episode on the subway and struggling over how to respond: To confront or flee; to intervene when two riders are at odds; to call for a police officer, or to look away.”

Different approaches: Mayor Adams, known for his tough-on-crime stance, encouraged the judicial process for Neely’s case to proceed as intended. Meanwhile, other Democrats, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who continues advocating for defunding the police, described the incident as "murder." Black Lives Matter and the NAACP also demanded accountability and emphasized Neely's racial background.

Between the lines: Neely had a history of mental health issues, was arrested several times, and was sentenced to only four months in jail after attempting to kidnap a 7-year-old girl. The media and progressive politicians portray Neely as a martyr while ignoring the 27 others who were killed on the subway since March 2020 due to the city’s inability to ensure public safety.

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