Jordan Neely spent the previous few weeks of his life using the subways of New York, hungry, determined and alone.

At his funeral on Friday, which started at 11 a.m. at Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem, a whole lot gathered to mourn him. The Rev. Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy.

The Might 1 killing of Mr. Neely, who the police mentioned had been performing in a “hostile and erratic method” on an F prepare earlier than one other subway rider positioned him in a chokehold for a number of minutes, shortly divided political leaders and led to protests across the metropolis.

It has sparked debate across the nation between those that imagine the person who killed Mr. Neely, Daniel Penny, responded with violent vigilantism to an individual who wanted assist, and people who imagine he acted as a result of he was attempting to cease a menace. And it has raised questions on security on the subway and the care supplied to homeless and mentally unwell individuals dwelling within the metropolis.

Mr. Penny has been charged with second-degree manslaughter. His attorneys have mentioned he was attempting to guard himself and others who have been on the prepare when Mr. Neely boarded it and commenced yelling at passengers. An internet fund-raiser for his authorized protection amassed greater than $2.6 million in donations after it was promoted by conservative politicians.

The chokehold was captured in a four-minute video, however many questions nonetheless stay about what came about earlier than the video started. Witnesses instructed the police that Mr. Neely had shouted that he was hungry, thirsty and “able to die.” There was no indication that he bodily attacked anybody.

“There was since Jordan’s loss of life a distortion of values that we have to clarify has been violated,” Mr. Sharpton mentioned firstly of his eulogy.

“Jordan was screaming for assist. We maintain criminalizing individuals with psychological sickness,” he mentioned. “They don’t want abuse, they need assistance.”

Mr. Sharpton described Mr. Neely’s killing as a “crime” and referred to as for assist for his household.

“As a result of once they choked Jordan, they put their arms round all of us,” he mentioned. “All of us have the correct to stay.”

Exterior the church on Friday, a small group of protesters held up indicators saying that Mr. Neely had been murdered and “sufficient is sufficient.” About half a dozen cops stood by, however the scene was calm.

In keeping with the Rev. Dr. Johnnie Inexperienced, who presided over Mr. Neely’s funeral, a number of distinguished Democratic politicians have been in attendance, together with Consultant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jumaane Williams, the New York Metropolis public advocate.

In his teenagers and early 20s, Mr. Neely was a fixture in Occasions Sq. and on the subway, the place he impersonated Michael Jackson, donning a purple and black leather-based jacket and pants harking back to the singer’s Thriller period.

Buddies recalled him as a gifted dancer who adored performing in entrance of subway riders and mystified vacationers.

However lately, his household mentioned, he was fighting psychological sickness and dependancy, issues that have been set off by the homicide of his mom, Christie Neely, when he was 14.

He was dwelling along with his mom and her boyfriend in an condominium in Bayonne, N.J., when she disappeared in 2007. Her physique was later discovered stuffed in a suitcase within the Bronx. She had been strangled; her boyfriend was charged with homicide and Mr. Neely was referred to as to testify throughout his trial.

He dropped out of Washington Irving Excessive College in Manhattan. He remained near his aunt, Carolyn Neely, who urged him to maneuver to upstate New York along with her when she left town earlier this yr.

He refused, in accordance with attorneys for his household.

Mr. Neely turned well-known to the social work groups that attain out to homeless individuals on the subways, in accordance with an worker of the Bowery Residents’ Committee, a nonprofit group that does such outreach.

He was arrested dozens of occasions, largely for transgressions like turnstile-jumping or trespassing. However a minimum of 4 arrests have been on fees of punching individuals, together with within the subway system.

Mr. Neely was positioned on what outreach employees confer with because the “Prime 50” checklist — a roster maintained by town of homeless individuals whom officers contemplate most urgently in want of help and therapy.

Mr. Inexperienced, who led Mr. Neely’s funeral on Friday, additionally presided over the funeral of his mom in 2007.

Hurubie Meko contributed reporting.