New York City is preparing to bury one of its own following a brazen example of vigilante violence that has sparked a raging culture war along racial and political lines and renewed criticism of both the criminal justice system and local officials.
The details are set surrounding the funeral for Jordan Neely, who was killed earlier this month by a white man reacting to a perceived threat on a subway train by employing a deadly chokehold on the 30-year-old unarmed Black man for a reported 15 minutes. A portion of the killing was documented on video recorded by a bystander in footage that showed two other men aiding and abetting the killing.
Daniel Penny, a 24-year-old former Marine who decided to take the law into his own hands by using lethal force while Neely was in the throes of a mental health crisis, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in the killing but remains free as millions of dollars pour into an online fundraiser created by Penny’s law firm to pay for legal fees.
It is decidedly in that context that Neely’s funeral is scheduled to be held in Harlem.
Rev. Al Sharpton, who is slated to deliver the eulogy at Neely’s funeral, previously reacted to Penny’s arrest by calling it “just step one in justice for Jordan Neely.”
Sharpton also called for the prosecution of the two still-unidentified men shown holding down Neely as Penny tightened the deadly chokehold.
“The justice system needs to send a clear, loud message that vigilantism has never been acceptable,” Sharpton also said in a statement emailed to NewsOne last week. “Being homeless or Black or having a mental health episode should not be a death sentence.”
Neely’s funeral is scheduled to take place at the Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem. Mount Neboh Baptist Church’s Senior Pastor, the Rev. Johnnie Melvin Green, previously told the New York Daily News that he endorsed Sharpton delivering the eulogy.
“As we face sorrow, pain and uncertainty in the wake of Jordan’s senseless killing, it is crucial that we come together in the spirit of healing, action and perseverance,” Green said to the New York Daily News last week. “I can think of no one better, no one more equipped to meet this moment with that grace and guidance than Rev. Sharpton.”
Green also officiated the funeral for Neely’s mother, who was 36 years old when her boyfriend choked her to death, stuffed her body in a suitcase and dumped it on the side of a highway in the Bronx in 2007. Neely was just 14 years old at the time. More than four years later, Neely testified during the boyfriend’s murder trial about how he saw the couple “fight every day,” NJ.com reported at the time. Experts have suggested that the ordeal likely contributed to Neely’s mental health struggles that Penny reacted to with lethal force on May 1.
When is Jordan Neely’s funeral?
Nearly three weeks later, Neely’s funeral will take place at the Mount Neboh Baptist Church on Friday May 19.
A public viewing is scheduled to take place from 9 to 10:30 a.m. before the funeral’s start at 11 a.m.
Mount Neboh Baptist Church is located at 1883 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, New York, NY 10026.
The funeral can be viewed online via live stream from Mount Neboh Baptist Church by clicking here.
There is still time to donate to a GoFundMe account set up to raise money for Neely’s funeral. As of Wednesday morning, the GoFundMe had only garnered less than $3,000, a far cry from the more than $2.5 million that’s been raised for Penny’s legal defense fund. Neely’s aunt set up a separate GoFundMe account to also cover funeral and burial costs that had raised nearly $145,000 as of Wednesday morning.
May Jordan Neely rest in peace.
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