It’s too easy to pin all the blame for Jordan Neely’s death on the man who restrained him following a public outburst.
The real villains who made their two lives collide with such tragic consequences are the city’s broken mental health system and antiquated mental health laws.
And at the moment cooler heads should prevail, the activists and preening politicians — like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, city Comptroller Brad Lander and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams — pull up to the outrage station to pollute the conversation with their extreme ravings.
The medical examiner has ruled it a homicide, yet it seems plain that the man had no intent to cause extreme harm to Neely.
Murder, as AOC and Williams recklessly charge, is an intentional homicide.
Neely had dozens of arrests and multiple Emotionally Disturbed Person reports to his name; his family had tried to get him into treatment.
A warrant was out for his arrest (for assaulting a 67-year-old woman) at the time of his death.
He was menacing to strangers in that subway car.
As Mayor Eric Adams put it: “We cannot just blanketly say what a passenger should or should not do in a situation like that.”
It falls on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to determine if an involuntary manslaughter charge is warranted; a mob of activists and elected officials are trying to bully him into filing it or worse.
In truth, Jordan Neely’s death is on the hands of progressives who want to defund the NYPD yet offer no realistic or practical plan to get the dangerously mentally ill into care.
The hard left (with indifferent support from most liberals) utterly opposes Adams’ and Gov. Kathy Hochul’s mild efforts to enforce involuntary treatment of people that clearly need help.
Oh, the left is fine with spending money in the name of mental health, as with the billion or so Mayor Bill de Blasio blew on his wife’s farcical ThriveNYC debacle.
But facing facts about the growing ranks of the severely mentally ill (an estimated 12,000 on the streets) is somehow taboo.
Nope: The left wants to focus exclusively on scapegoating the “vigilante,” rather the system that failed Neely.
Innocent New Yorkers shouldn’t fear random attacks, including getting shoved onto subway tracks or trapped in a car with a madman.
All the comfortable electeds (each with his or her own security detail) thundering for “justice” ought to focus on all the other failures that culminated so horribly on that F train.
After all, they are elected officials with access to the levers of government and budget-making.