'A new low': AOC slams NYC mayor Adams for blaming Jordan Neely’s death on 'serious mental health issues'
The death of Jordan Neely, a 30-year-old homeless man, in a New York City subway on Monday, May 1 has set off major tensions between prominent Democrats in the United States' largest city.
Neely died after being placed in a chokehold by one of the passengers: a 24-year-old U.S. marine. According to CNN, another passenger, Juan Alberto Vazquez, recorded the incident using his smartphone. Passengers, Vazquez said, became uncomfortable when Neely was yelling and said, "I don't care if I die. I don't care if I go to jail. I don't have any food.… I'm done."
Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), on Twitter, attacked the marine as a "murderer." And NYC Mayor Eric Adams, a centrist Democrat and former NYC police officer, was vehemently critical of her comments — which he described as "irresponsible at a time when we're still investigating the situation."
READ MORE: 'Jordan Neely was murdered': AOC blasts NYC mayor for attacking 'very services' that could have helped
The marine has not been arrested, and District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Jr. has not decided whether or not any charges will be pressed.
AOC has not only lambasted Adams' response to Neely's death, but also, mainstream media coverage — including reports by the New York Times.
In a May 3 tweet criticizing the Times, AOC wrote, "Jordan Neely was murdered. 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."
Right-wing pundits on Fox News, including Jesse Watters and Lawrence Jones, were quick to describe the marine as a concerned citizen who rushed to the defense of passengers who felt threatened. Jones slammed AOC and Black Lives Matter protesters, saying, "Apparently, they think that Jordan Neely should have been allowed to attack innocent passengers on the subway."
READ MORE: Watch: Man wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirt violently forced out of Republican event in Arizona
Watters praised Adams' response; the Democratic mayor, however, was much more neutral than the Fox News hosts in his statements, saying that a full investigation of the incident should be conducted and that AOC's comments were not helping.
On May 3, AOC also posted, "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."
In a May 3 statement, Adams said, "Any loss of life is tragic. However, we do know that there were serious mental health issues in play here, which is why our administration has made record investments in providing care to those who need it and getting people of the streets and the subways, and out of dangerous situations. And I need all elected officials and advocacy groups to join us in prioritizing getting people the care they need and not just allowing them to languish."
AOC, in response, tweeted, "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. The last sentence is especially rich from an admin trying to cut the very services that could have helped him."
READ MORE: Watch: NYC Mayor Eric Adams announces program to involuntarily commit mentally ill homeless people
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