Marine Charged By DA Bragg In Subway Death Gets Tidal Wave Of Support

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

On Friday, 24-year-old Daniel Penny, a Marine and college student, turned himself into authorities for charges connected to Jordan Neely, a black man with a history of violence and mental health issues.

Penny is charged with holding Neely in a chokehold for Neely making threats against fellow subway riders, resulting in Neely’s death, Fox News reported.

The decision to charge Penny came from Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s office, according to NBC 4 in New York. Bragg is the same DA who has been recently prosecuting former President Donald Trump.

Penny “is expected to be transported Friday to Manhattan Criminal Court and arraigned on one count of second-degree manslaughter. Prosecutors are expected to ask for significant bail, a source told” Fox.

Despite the charges against him, the former U.S. Marine is receiving an incredible amount of support for his legal defense fund from thousands of people.

As of Saturday morning, the GiveSendGo account set up for Daniel Penny had surpassed $1 million less than 24 hours after it went live, with more than 21,000 donors contributing thus far.

“All contributions are greatly appreciated. Any proceeds collected which exceed those necessary to cover Mr. Penny’s legal defense will be donated to a mental health advocacy program in New York City,” the site says.

The charges stem from an incident in the subway where Neely was observed, “making threats and scaring people,” Fox reports. “The defendant approached Mr. Neely from behind and placed him in a chokehold, taking him down to the ground,” the prosecutor said at Penny’s arraignment.

On Wednesday, the New York City medical examiner officially confirmed that Neely’s cause of death was attributed to a “chokehold.”

The ME categorized the incident as a “homicide,” but further legal proceedings would be required to establish intent or culpability, Conservative Brief reports, and ABC Correspondent CeFaan Kim said on Twitter that Penny will face a charge of Manslaughter in the Second Degree.

According to freelance journalist Juan Alberto Vazquez and a report from The New York Post, witnesses recounted that on Monday afternoon, Neely engaged in an aggressive rant while in the subway. Witnesses described him as behaving erratically and reportedly heard him shouting that he was unconcerned about going to jail.

Penny and at least one other passenger moved to subdue Neely, who had been arrested at least 42 times over the past decade. But under New York City’s Democratic leadership, he apparently never received the mental health care he appeared to need. Ignoring the threat that Neely was to other citizens, NYC Mayor Eric Adams said at a press conference Thursday that “Jordan Neely did not deserve to die.”

Neely’s most recent arrest took place in November 2021, where he faced felony assault charges over an accusation he slugged a 67-year-old woman in the face. The assault resulted in significant injuries to the victim, and Neely was subsequently incarcerated for a period exceeding one year, the New York Daily News reported.

The incident was caught on video, as freelance journalist Albert Vazquez recorded the confrontation. “He started screaming in an aggressive manner,” Vazquez told the New York Post.

A 66-year-old woman who witnessed the altercation told the New York Post that she was praying for Penny, saying Penny didn’t step in until Neely’s behavior got out of hand. The witness stated Neely said, ‘I don’t care, I’ll take a bullet, I’ll go to jail,’ because he would kill people on the train.”

Penny’s attorneys released a statement on the death late last week, saying that their client “was involved in a tragic incident on the NYC Subway, which ended in the death of” Neely, Conservative Brief reported.

The statement, which was released by the law firm Raiser and Kenniff, P.C., added:

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.

Penny served four years in the Marines before he was honorably discharged, and has been a “pillar of the community,” Penny’s attorney, Thomas Kenniff, argued in court. Kenniff said that the young man acted to protect himself and other passengers who were being threatened, Fox reported.

Penny, who turned himself in and was cooperating with authorities, is graduating from college within the week and has lived in New York city his entire life, his lawyer noted.


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