Jordan Neely subway death: 10 protesters arrested; possible Molotov cocktail found

Tuesday, May 9, 2023
10 arrested in Jordan Neely death protest; Possible Molotov cocktail found
There were clashes with police near the Broadway-Lafayette St Station, where Neely died after he was put in a chokehold by a former Marine. Derick Waller reports.

NOHO, Manhattan (WABC) -- Tensions boiled over during a protest over the subway chokehold death of Jordan Neely on Monday night.

The march of about 150 people started peacefully enough, but later outside the Broadway-Lafayette subway station, police began arresting a handful of protesters for a variety of unspecified offenses, including unlawful sound amplification, like the use of a bullhorn.

Some of the arrested protesters found themselves bruised and bloody as police pinned several to the ground.

A photojournalist, Stephanie Keith, who was covering the protest was among the 10 people arrested. Later, on Instagram, she posted, "We all ran upstairs to witness several ongoing arrests. Later, I was arrested! I couldn't believe it, I was flabbergasted."

Police also say someone brought a suspected Molotov cocktail to the march -- a glass bottle with explosive material inside. Thankfully, it did not explode.

At an event in Queens on Monday night, Mayor Eric Adams said it was brought by someone who doesn't live in New York City, an outside agitator, but Eyewitness News has not confirmed that information.

"What were they planning on doing with that? Agitators who come from outside our city with Molotov cocktails? We should all be concerned about that," Adams said.

"As you see, this is a glass bottle. There's a liquid in there. We don't know what the liquid is as of yet. It has not been tested. You can see the ripped up rag down there that will facilitate the flame. This is something that's dangerous. It can hurt members of the department. It can hurt other protesters. It can hurt innocent people who are passing by," said Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey, NYPD.

Jordan Neely once moonwalked for subway crowds as Michael Jackson but later found himself spiraling out of control in a mental health crisis, and was arrested dozens of times.

"This is not the life he asked for. He was doing the best with what he could," said Lennon Edwards, Neely family attorney.

Last Monday, Marine veteran Daniel Penny placed Neely in a chokehold after he says Neely threatened him and other passengers on board an F train.

Protesters have promised 15 nights of marching for the estimated 15 minutes Jordan Neely found himself in that chokehold.

On Saturday, a group of protesters stopped subway service for a time when they got in front of a train on the Upper East Side.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office is still working with detectives before possibly presenting evidence to a grand jury.

ALSO READ | Subway chokehold: Friend of Jordan Neely speaks out

Lance Clarke tells Eyewitness News it is a side of Neely he never saw. He first met him about a decade ago performing at a birthday party. Kemberly Richardson has more.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More Manhattan news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.