How to Respond to a Stranger in Mental Distress

On May 1, Jordan Neely was killed in a New York City subway car by another passenger who held him in a chokehold for several minutes. Mr. Neely, who had a history of mental illness and was experiencing homelessness at the time, had been acting in a “hostile and erratic manner,” according to some who witnessed the incident, and was yelling that he needed food and something to drink. He also said he was ready to die.

Law enforcement officials are investigating the killing but have not brought any charges. There are currently no reports that Mr. Neely was behaving violently or making threats to other riders. It is not known whether he was experiencing an acute psychiatric crisis at the time, but what is clear is that Mr. Neely was in a moment of extreme distress.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s