Jordan Neely was laid to rest at the Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem, and mourners remembered him as being an “amazing, phenomenal dancer… a reflection of Michael Jackson.”
The 30-year-old was choked to death by Daniel Penny on an NYC subway on May 1, authorities say. Police have since charged Penny with manslaughter in Neely’s death.
Jordan Neely Remembered As “Phenomenal” Dancer: “A Reflection Of MJ,” Friends Say
Mourners remembered Neely’s spot-on Michael Jackson impersonation, the New York Post reports. A childhood friend of Neely’s, Rocco Polanco, even shared his thoughts.
“Jordan was an amazing dancer — phenomenal. He was a reflection of Michael Jackson — he had every move down pat, and even had the same facial structure.”
Neely Uplifted Friends With Impeccable MJ-Impersonation After King Of Pop Died Back In 2009
Noel McDonald said he didn’t know Neely’s family but felt he had to pay his last respects, according to The Post.
“That brother in there was talented,” McDonald told The Post. “He was gifted. And sure he was homeless — he was homeless because he was carrying mental pain from his mother’s murder,” McDonald said in reference to Neely’s mother’s murder back in 2007.
Meanwhile, Polanco said the two frequently hung out together near Harlem’s infamous Apollo Theater, the outlet reports.
He added that Neely was the one to uplift their group of friends with his impersonation after Michael Jackson passed back in 2009.
“He made us all feel good when Michael Jackson died,” Polanco said. “People came to Times Square just to see [Jordan].”
Rev. Al Sharpton Gives Eulogy At Neely’s Funeral, Slams Penny For Vigilantism
ABC 7 reports Rev. Al Sharpton gave a powerful eulogy at Neely’s funeral. He slammed Penny for what he called vigilantism, according to the outlet.
“A good Samaritan helps those in trouble, they don’t choke them out,” he explained.
At the end of my eulogy, those gathered begin chanting for Jordan Neely. No Justice, No Peace.#JordanNeely
📸: @JtTheCr8Guru pic.twitter.com/JvLO7cKmnd
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) May 19, 2023
The Chokehold And Aftermath: Death Of Jordan Neely
The city medical examiner ruled Neely’s death a homicide. He died from “compression of neck (chokehold),” it found.
However, Daniel Penny’s defense team claims he wasn’t trying to kill Neely when he grabbed him, only trying to protect himself and other passengers from an irate homeless man.
Meanwhile, Neely’s family wants Penny to be tried for murder in his death and not manslaughter.
Penny remains free on $100,000 bail.
A GoFundMe for Penny has already raised nearly $2 million for legal fees, as reported by The Shade Room.