New York City, NY: Daniel Penny, the Marine who stepped in to secure an erratic passenger was formally charged with second-degree manslaughter, and a legal fund was established that raised over $2 million.
The 24-year-old Marine, Penny, was seen on a cell phone video securing Jordan Neely using a jui-jitsu-style chokehold, a common move training in the military after Neely reportedly began acting erratically and threatening riders in a NYC subway train. Neely was reported to have significant mental health issues.
Neely, who was known to some as the Michael Jackson impersonator, had 42 prior arrests, including the kidnapping of a 7-year-old girl and an outstanding warrant for allegedly assaulting a 67-year-old woman.
The NYC Mayor, Mayor Adams, a former NYPD officer but unliked by many in the department, was supportive of the incident but later changed his tune after a host of protests within the city. There is an apparent element of politics surrounding the case entirely.
Mayor Adams was initially quoted as saying subway passengers have a right to defend themselves but after several protests, had a different message.
Geraldo Rivera Chimes In On Daniel Penny’s Case
In an interview with Geraldo Rivera on Fox News, Geraldo said, “It was only after the protests that Mayor Adams said Jordan Neely’s life mattered.”
Geraldo later continued, “The arc of Mayor Adams first saying ‘well it’s justified in a city where the subway is a homeless shelter’ and on the other hand [said] ‘Jordan Neely’s life mattered’, that came after the protesters on the tracks… and the family and their pain… this is a tragedy, this is horrible, sorry this ever happened.”
Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, an organization built on protecting people in NYC subways also spoke with Fox News and defended Perry. In the interview, Sliwa said, “He [Neely] was rated one of the 50 most dangerous persons living in the subway system.” He continued, “This Sergeant in the USMC came to aid of all the citizens there… he could’ve walked away like most citizens done or observed what we call ‘MYOB’ – ‘mind your own business’, which has paralyzed our city. But he gets involved. Two other good samaritans jump in, he didn’t even know. They hold him down, they restrain him. He [Penny] is telling the passengers ‘Call 911’.”
However, it took fifteen minutes before NYPD arrived, which Sliwa attributed to a severely understaffed department.
Penny’s Attorney Speaks Out
In a statement issued by Penny’s attorney, Steve Raiser, he stated: “When Mr. Penny, a decorated Marine veteran, stepped in to protect himself and his fellow New Yorkers, his well-being was not assured. The unfortunate result was the unintended and unforeseen death of Mr. Freely. Raiser’s statement continued: “We are confident that once all the facts and circumstances surrounding this tragic incident are brought to bear, Mr. Penny will be fully absolved of any wrongdoing.”
Support for the Marine Daniel Penny is shown across the country, too. A GoFundMe account was launched by his legal team to cover legal fees and anything over the fees will be donated to a mental health advocacy group in NYC. As of May 15th, the fundraising hovers around the $2 million mark.
Another campaign was raised by the Pipe Hitter Foundation, which provides financial support to police officers hit with politically motivated crimes, and raised a separate $10k to support the Marine’s legal fees.
The astronomical amount is a testament to the support of Penny’s actions but is also a symbol of the growing divide in America.
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