Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy at Jordan Neely’s funeral at the request of his family.
The funeral will be held on Friday at the Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem.
Sharpton’s presence was requested by Rev. Johnnie Melvin Green Jr., at the behest of Neely’s family.
“As we face sorrow, pain, and uncertainty in the wake of Jordan’s senseless killing, it is crucial that we come together in the spirit of healing, action, and perseverance,” Green said in a statement. “I can think of no one better, no one more equipped to meet this moment with that grace and guidance than Rev. Sharpton.”
Neely was a homeless 30-year-old man known for impersonating Michael Jackson and threatening people on the subway.
On May 1, Neely went on a threatening rant on an F train that had stopped in a Manhattan station. Police said he was acting “hostile and erratic manner.” He was subdued in a chokehold by Marine veteran Daniel Penny.
“I don’t have food, I don’t have a drink, I’m fed up. I don’t mind going to jail and getting life in prison. I’m ready to die,’” Neely shouted to passengers on the subway train.
Neely did not survive the incident, though Penny put him in a recovery position once it was clear that he was no longer a threat.
Witnesses confirmed that Neely was acting in a way that made them believe Penny was protecting others, according to a report from the New York Times.
Penny was charged with second-degree manslaughter on Friday after public outcry demanded it. The other two men who helped to hold Neely down have not been charged or publicly identified.
A fundraiser for Penny”s legal defense has now raised over $2,500,000.
“Daniel Penny is, a twenty-four-year-old college student and decorated Marine veteran, facing a criminal investigation stemming from him protecting individuals on a NYC subway train from an assailant who later died,” the fundraiser explains. “Funds are being raised to pay Mr. Penny’s legal fees incurred from any criminal charges filed and any future civil lawsuits that may arise, as well as expenses related to his defense.”
If convicted, Penny faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article mistakenly referred to “Neely’s” legal defense rather than Penny’s legal defense.