New York City Was Monitoring Jordan Neely, but Not That Day

Death of someone on a watch list shows flaws in the support system, advocates say
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2023 1:45 PM CDT
New York City Was Monitoring Jordan Neely, but Not That Day
This undated photo, provided by Mills & Edwards LLP in New York on Friday, shows Jordan Neely.   (Courtesy Mills & Edwards, LLP via AP)

Jordan Neely, who died after being placed in a chokehold by another New York City subway passenger, was on a city task force's list of people most at risk of harm. Homeless outreach workers who encounter people on the list are supposed to notify city officials and place them in a shelter, the New York Times reports. But Neely was alone in the subway on May 1, when riders said he began ranting at them. Advocates and others say Neely's death illustrates problems in New York's support systems. "Our city knew exactly who Jordan was, where he was and what his history was," Councilwoman Pierina Sanchez said. "And yet we failed him."

Names are added to the list based on the person's difficulties and lack of willingness to accept help. The task force consists of employees of city agencies and social service nonprofit organizations, who meet weekly for updates on the people on the list and their needs. A mayoral adviser said those on the list include the "most entrenched and chronic patients." The outreach workers are supposed to know the names on the list, per the Times, and alert the Department of Homeless Services when they come across one of the people. That agency then arranges for the person to be taken to a safe haven, which is a shelter with fewer restrictions that others. The list is broken down into people who usually spend their time in the subways and those who usually are found on the streets. Neely was on the subway list. (Neely's family objects to the charge filed in the case.)

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