Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Jordan Neely Was Executed for Being Poor, Black, and Disabled

Jordan Neely was strangled to death in the New York subway during a mental health crisis.

Julia Wallace

May 3, 2023
Facebook Twitter Share
Jordan Neely, a 30-year-old Black man who was murdered on May 2, 2023, wears a Michael Jackson outfit on a subway platform.

On Monday, Jordan Neely, a 30-year-old Black man who performed as a Michael Jackson impersonator, was having a mental health crisis on the F train in New York City. According to bystanders, he declared he was hungry, thirsty, and tired, and that he didn’t care if he went to jail that night. He was loud but didn’t touch anyone on the train. Instead of being met with compassion, he was murdered. 

A white man whose name is not being released — we only know that he was a former Marine — put Jordan Neely in a chokehold, strangling him for 15 minutes as another person held him down. Jordan Neely died from the chokehold. His murderer was not charged; he was promptly released from police custody. 

Neely was executed for being poor, Black, and disabled. Even as crime in New York continues to go down, copaganda and media reporting against the homeless and people with disabilities is increasing. Neely should not have been hungry, thirsty, and tired. He should have had a home with food. He should have had the medication and mental health support he needed. And his killer should not get away with murder. 

Eric Adams, current New York City mayor and former cop, has been calling for people with mental health disabilities to be hospitalized, creating anti-homeless panic and calling for more cops on the subway even as crime in the city has gone down. While hospitalizing those who need help sounds like a quick fix, it only empowers the police to brutalize with more impunity, adds more money to private hospitals which essentially warehouse without adequate treatment, and burdens the understaffed workers. Solutions for this issue are free housing, increased wages, and full employment, as well as training workers  — not police — to help people with disabilities and those in crisis. 

By releasing the killer without charge and protecting him by not releasing his name, the police deputized him, and the capitalist media is complicit. We should denounce the police as agents who empower killer vigilantes like the man who strangled Jordan Neely. This murderer must be exposed, not coddled.

The fight against poverty and racism is a fight for socialism. Housing, food, healthcare, and mental healthcare are human rights and must be fought for by the working class and oppressed sectors. Republicans call for more police, Democrats call for bankrolling private hospitals and more money for police. From Eric Adams in New York to Karen Bass in Los Angeles, the Democrats have no answers for the unhoused because they are both political parties of the landlords, capitalists and cops. 

Mental health workers must fight for these demands and, along with the community, be the ones making decisions about how to take care of mentally disabled people. Subway workers and their unions, too, must speak out against this racist violence and join the call in New York city for care, not Cops: for increased mental health services, more funding for schools, and more housing, rather than bloated police budgets. 

Jordan Neely brought joy to subway riders by impersonating Michael Jackson. He was having a mental health crisis brought on by poverty, and we must wage a fight against poverty for him and those killed by police or vigilantes. Food, housing healthcare and mental health care specifically are human rights. The fight against poverty will only be successful if it is a declaration of war against the landlords, capitalists, and cops. Workers must take charge over mental health services and use the power of political organization, unions and tenant unions with the method of the strike for these demands to be met. 

Justice for Jordan Neely!

Facebook Twitter Share

Julia Wallace

Julia is a contributor for Left Voice and has been a revolutionary socialist for over ten years. She served on the South Central Neighborhood Council in Los Angeles and is a member of SEIU Local 721. Julia organizes against police brutality and in defense of LGBTQ, women, and immigrants' rights. When she's not actively fighting the patriarchy, white supremacy and/or capitalism, she enjoys many things: she loves Thundercat, plays ultimate frisbee and is a founder of the team, "Black Lives Hammer."

United States

Scabs Will Not Pass: Defend the UAW Strike With Organized Grassroots Power

The Big Three are escalating their use of scabs. The rank and file are fighting back.

Jason Koslowski

September 27, 2023
NYC Mayor Eric Adams stands at a podium.

The Housing Crisis and Migrant Crisis Are Crises of Capitalism

As thousands of people come to the U.S. seeking shelter, politicians around the country are claiming that housing in the U.S. is already in crisis and that there is no room for them. Both the “migrant crisis” and “housing crisis” are crises created and exacerbated by capitalism.

Mike Pappas

September 20, 2023

To Win, the UAW Strike Must Be Organized from Below

The strike at the Big Three has put the working class at the center of national politics. The autoworkers’ demands are bold and touch on issues of growing exploitation across the country. To win big, the strike must be organized from below.

Tristan Taylor

September 18, 2023

The KOSA Bill Is Another Attack on LGBTQ+ People, People of Color, and Children’s Right To Learn

KOSA is ultimately a surveillance bill whose purpose is to limit the spread of progressive politics that pose a threat to the state.

Olivia Wood

September 14, 2023


President Biden visits striking UAW workers in Michigan.

Biden’s Picket Line Visit Doesn’t Mean He Is On Our Side

President Biden’s visit to the UAW picket line shows the strength of the strike — and why it should remain independent from him and the Democrats.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

September 27, 2023

Toward a Revolutionary Socialist Network

In this article Warren Montag and Joseph Serrano respond to our call for a network for a working-class party for socialism. 

Warren Montag

September 27, 2023

China’s Rise, ‘Diminished Dependency,’ and Imperialism in Times of World Disorder

In this broad-ranging interview, originally published in LINKS, Trotskyist Fraction member Esteban Mercatante discusses how recent global shifts in processes of capital accumulation have contributed to China’s rise, the new (and old) mechanisms big powers use to plunder the Global South, and its implications for anti-imperialist and working-class struggles today.

Esteban Mercatante

September 22, 2023
President Biden giving a speech on Friday, September 15, about the UAW strike. A UAW sign in the background.

Joe Biden Is Afraid of the UAW Strike. That’s a Good Thing.

A few days ago, Biden called on the bosses of the Big Three automakers to give concessions to the striking UAW workers. It’s because he’s scared of the UAW’s power.

Enid Brain

September 20, 2023