Media Is Falsely Representing Jordan Neely By Only Posting 10-Year-Old Photos Of Him And Leaving Out Crucial Information

CNN and other news sources refer to Jordan Neely as a harmless "Michael Jackson impersonator" without ever reporting on the fact that New Yorkers warned each other about his violent behavior for years.

By Gina Florio2 min read
Getty/Spencer Platt

The fatal incident involving Jordan Neely, a 30-year-old homeless man who struggled with mental illness, and Daniel Penny, a former Marine, on a New York City subway has sparked a wave of protests and controversy in recent weeks. After Neely was shouting obscenities and threatening violence on a train, Penny placed him in a chokehold to restrain him from harming anyone. He was pronounced dead when medics arrived.

Footage of the incident, showing Penny holding Neely in a chokehold with the help of two men while bystanders watched, went viral on May 2. The incident divided opinions, with some asserting Penny overreacted, while others defended his actions.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg confirmed an investigation into the incident, including reviewing the medical examiner's report, which declared Neely's death a homicide by compression of the neck. Protests demanding an arrest erupted, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez labeled the incident a murder on Twitter.

On May 5, Penny's attorneys defended their client's actions, citing his military background and stating that he never intended to harm Neely. They characterized Neely as "aggressively threatening" and called for better mental health support systems. Neely's family criticized Penny's statement, stating that it demonstrated indifference to Neely's death and portrayed him as "worthless." They called for Penny's imprisonment and urged Mayor Adams to acknowledge Neely's significance.

On May 11, the Manhattan district attorney's office confirmed that Penny would face second-degree manslaughter charges. On May 12, Penny turned himself in, was released on a $100,000 bond, and ordered not to leave New York without approval. A formal indictment is being sought from a grand jury. If convicted, Penny could face up to 15 years in prison. His next court appearance is scheduled for July 17.

Media Is Falsely Representing Jordan Neely by Only Posting 10-Year-Old Photos of Him and Leaving Out Crucial Information

Many people have pointed out that the photos used by legacy media companies portray Neely as an innocent, harmless guy who was nothing more than a Michael Jackson impersonator. He is referred to as a performer by news outlets such as CNN, New York Times, CBS, The Hill, and many more. Additionally, these outlets regularly post photos of Neely from many years ago, as long as a decade ago. Neely is made out to be a sweet young man who would never harm a fly; he was just homeless, hungry, and in desperate need of mental illness treatment.

While Neely was certainly homeless and mentally ill, there are many crucial details that these media companies leave out. Neely had given up the Michael Jackson impersonations years ago, and he was known by many New Yorkers as a violent man in the subway who was regularly threatening bystanders. He was arrested over 40 times, once for attempting to kidnap a 7-year-old child. There were many forums in which New Yorkers would share Neely's information and photo, warning others to stay away from Neely if they wanted to remain safe and intact. Many of the comments indicated that he was no longer a Michael Jackson impersonator and had instead turned his attention to terrorizing subway passengers.

However, legacy media companies refuse to report on this very important information, which paints a more accurate picture about why Neely was such a threat that day on the subway, and why Penny felt compelled to intervene and prevent him from harming anyone. Instead, they have chosen to adhere to the progressive obsession with intersectional politics, which identifies all black individuals as victims and all white men as the villains.