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Protesters flood subway station, jump on tracks to call for justice for Jordan Neely; multiple arrests made

Protesters flood subway station, calling for justice for Jordan Neely
Protesters flood subway station, calling for justice for Jordan Neely 03:44

NEW YORK -- There was chaos underground Saturday as protesters angry about Jordan Neely's death stormed a subway station and caused delays on trains.

Police tell us they arrested multiple people.

The anger and frustration over Neely's death continues to grow in New York City.

Saturday, over 100 protesters swarmed the Lexington Avenue-63rd Street subway station in Manhattan, taking over the platform, trains, and at one point even jumping onto the tracks.

"It is a little bit kind of crazy that they did hold it on the train and they were blocking the train tracks and stuff like that. I mean, that part is just a little bit out there, considering you know normally protests are marching in the streets," protester Colleen Donahue said.

MORE: Six people wanted for jumping on subway tracks during Jordan Neely death protest

Police could be heard telling protesters, "This assembly is unlawful. You are ordered to disperse. If you leave voluntarily, no charges will be brought against you."

CBS2 cameras captured several arrests and one officer being carried away after the protest spilled onto the street.

Protesters are demanding charges be brought against 24-year-old Marine veteran Daniel Penny, who was seen on video holding Neely in a chokehold for nearly three minutes before his death on the subway.

Penny was questioned and released by police hours after Neely's death, but before the medical examiner ruled it a homicide.    

Watch Christina Fan's report

Rev. Al Sharpton calls for justice in subway chokehold death 02:02

Saturday morning at the National Action Network, Rev. Al Sharpton joined the chorus of voices demanding charges against Penny and two other individuals seen on video restraining Neely.

"I'm looking at the video. You got one man choking and the other holding him down. They all need to be in front of a grand jury," Sharpton said.

Sharpton also questioned why Penny wasn't arrested after police questioned him. 

"How can no one be charged? That man, Jordan Neely, is dead because he was Black, homeless and angry. That's why he was killed," Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said.

"This man had a mental issue and the way you handle that is not to put him in a chokehold and squeeze the life out of him," Sharpton said.

"What happened here is someone held somebody in a chokehold and choked him to death. There has to be accountability for that," Williams said.

Witnesses say Neely was a Michael Jackson impersonator on subway platforms.

Sources say he was homeless, had a history of mental illness and was arrested for charges including assault and disorderly conduct -- one involving an assault on a 67-year-old woman on the subway.

We've learned minutes before his death, Neely was acting erratically on the train, throwing trash, threatening passengers and yelling he was hungry.

No charges have been brought against Penny.

Friday, Penny's attorneys released the following statement:

"We would first like to express, on behalf of Daniel Penny, our condolences to those close to Mr. Neely. Mr. Neely had a documented history of violent and erratic behavior, the apparent result of ongoing and untreated mental illness. When Mr. Neely began aggressively threatening Daniel Penny and the other passengers, Daniel, with the help of others, acted to protect themselves, until help arrived. Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.

"For too long, those suffering from mental illness have been treated with indifference. We hope that out of this awful tragedy will come a new commitment by our elected officials to address the mental health crisis on our streets and subways."

The attorney now representing Neely's family spoke to TMZ Live.

"Someone may use the word 'unhinged.' Well, who's really unhinged when you look at the end of this incident? It's the man who killed him. That's who's unhinged. That's who everyone should've been afraid of," attorney Lennon Edwards said.

In the meantime, Neely's supporters say they want to see Penny charged and the city do more for the homeless and those struggling with mental illness.

"Whatever needs to be done so we can get justice," Donahue said.

The NYPD and district attorney are investigating Neely's death. Sources say so far, six witnesses have been interviewed.

The NYPD is asking anyone who was on the train or platform to come forward.

Sources told CBS2 the case is expected to go before a grand jury next week to determine if charges will be brought against Penny.

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