Far-left congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) on Wednesday blamed New York City mayor Eric Adams (D.) for the death of a homeless man who was screaming threats at subway passengers.
"It is appalling how so many take advantage of headlines re: crime for an obsolete 'tough on crime' political, media, & budgetary gain," Ocasio-Cortez wrote, a blow at Adams, who ran for office as a tough-on-crime moderate. After the mayor said in a statement that "there's a lot we don't know" about the situation, Ocasio-Cortez demanded that he act anyway, directly criticizing his administration for "trying to cut the very services that could have helped" the homeless man.
The man, Jordan Neely, on Monday was riding in a Manhattan subway car when he started threatening and throwing garbage at passengers.
"I'll hurt anyone on this train," Neely shouted, according to NBC New York 4.
The incident was caught on video, which depicts multiple people holding down Neely. One of them, reportedly a Marine veteran, put Neely in a headlock, which killed the homeless man, according to the medical examiner's office. Police took the Marine veteran into custody but released him without charges, Fox News reported.
New York City is facing a crime wave, with robberies, burglaries, felony assaults, grand larcenies, and other crimes rising 22 percent last year. While Adams has attempted to stem the tide, calling on the New York State Legislature to toughen its soft-on-crime bail reform law, Democrats in Albany want "no changes" to the law, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
The Monday subway incident prompted Ocasio-Cortez to light into the mayor, saying the media and police don't care about Neely because he was "houseless and crying for food." While Adams in a statement said that "any loss of life is tragic" and that "there were serious mental health issues in play," the statement was not good enough for the congresswoman, who described it as "a new low."
Ocasio-Cortez ally and New York City comptroller Brad Lander (D.) struck a similar note, saying, "We must not become a city where a mentally ill human being can be choked to death by a vigilante without consequence."
Another Ocasio-Cortez ally, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.), went even further, saying that Neely was "lynched."
Adams in a CNN interview Thursday gave it right back to his critics, saying that "I don't think" Ocasio-Cortez’s and Lander's remarks are "very responsible."
"We're still investigating this situation," the mayor said. "Let's let the DA conduct his investigation with the law-enforcement officials. To really interfere with that is not the right thing to do, and I'm going to be responsible and allow them to do their job."
While police let the Marine veteran go, soft-on-crime Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg (D.) announced Wednesday that his office is investigating the veteran.