“He was an exceptional dancer”
Jordan Neley was buried at Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem, and mourners remembered him as “an amazing, phenomenal dancer… a reflection of Michael Jackson.”
According to authorities, the 30-year-old was suffocated by Daniel Penny on a New York subway on May 1. Police have since charged Penny with manslaughter in Neely’s death.
Jordan Neely is considered a “phenomenal” dancer: “A reflection of MJ,” say friends
Mourners remembered Neely’s apt impersonation of Michael Jackson, reports the New York Post. A childhood friend of Neely’s, Rocco Polanco, even shared his thoughts.
“Jordan was a great dancer – phenomenal. He was a reflection of Michael Jackson – he mastered every movement perfectly and even had the same facial structure.”
After the King of Pop’s death in 2009, Neely wowed his friends with impeccable MJ impersonation
According to The Post, Noel McDonald said he doesn’t know Neely’s family but feels he has to pay his respects.
“The brother in there was talented,” McDonald told The Post. “He was gifted. And sure, he was homeless — he was homeless because he was in emotional pain from his mother’s murder,” McDonald said, referring to the 2007 murder of Neely’s mother.
Meanwhile, Polanco said the two often hung out together near Harlem’s infamous Apollo Theater, the outlet reports.
He added that Neely was the one who cheered up her circle of friends with his impersonation after Michael Jackson’s death in 2009.
“He made us all feel good when Michael Jackson died,” Polanco said. “People came to Times Square just to see it [Jordan].”
Rev. Al Sharpton delivers a eulogy at Neely’s funeral, criticizing Penny for vigilantism
ABC 7 reports that Rev. Al Sharpton delivered a powerful eulogy at Neely’s funeral. According to the outlet, he criticized Penny for what he called vigilantism.
“A good Samaritan helps those in trouble, he doesn’t suffocate them,” he explained.
At the end of my eulogy, the congregation begin to sing to Jordan Neely. No justice, no peace.#JordanNeely
📸: @JtTheCr8Guru pic.twitter.com/JvLO7cKmnd
— Rev. Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) May 19, 2023
The stranglehold and the aftermath: Death of Jordan Neely
The city’s coroner ruled Neely’s death a homicide. He died of a “compression of the neck (stranglehold)”, it said.
However, Daniel Penny’s defense team claims he did not attempt to kill Neely as he grabbed him, but only to protect himself and other passengers from an angry homeless man.
Meanwhile, Neely’s family wants Penny to be charged with murder, not manslaughter.
Penny remains at large on $100,000 bail.
As reported by , a GoFundMe for Penny has already raised nearly $2 million in legal fees The Shadow Room.