Daniel Penny, who killed Jordan Neely with a chokehold on a NYC subway, charged with second-degree manslaughter

May 13, 2023
Ben Marquis

New York City has endured unrelenting protests since May 1 when Jordan Neely, a homeless black man with a history of mental illness and violent assaults on others, died on a subway train after being restrained in a chokehold by a white former U.S. Marine named Daniel Penny.

The protesters incessantly called upon progressive Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to file criminal charges against Penny, and on Thursday, Bragg revealed that he had finally caved to the mob's demands, Breitbart reported.

It was revealed that Penny would face a felony charge of second-degree manslaughter, even though police had released Penny following the incident without recommending charges and witness statements seemed to indicate that Penny's actions were justified by Neely's reportedly threatening behavior toward others.

Second-degree manslaughter charge

On Thursday, the New York Post reported that Penny was expected to turn himself in on Friday for an arraignment on the second-degree manslaughter charge, which could land him in prison for up to 15 years if convicted.

"We can confirm that Daniel Penny will be arrested on a charge of Manslaughter in the Second Degree," a spokesman for Manhattan DA Bragg's office said in a statement. "We cannot provide any additional information until he has been arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court, which we expect to take place tomorrow."

In response to that announcement, the pair of defense attorneys representing Penny, Steven Raiser and Thomas Kenniff, said in a statement of their own that they were confident that their client would eventually be "fully absolved of any wrongdoing" once all of the relevant facts in the case had been exposed.

"When Mr. Penny, a decorated Marine veteran, stepped in to protect himself and his fellow New Yorkers, his well-being was not assured," the lawyers said. "He risked his own life and safety, for the good of his fellow passengers. The unfortunate result was the unintended and unforeseen death of Mr. Neely."

Penny was arraigned and released on a $100,000 bond

New York's WNBC reported on Friday that, as expected, Penny turned himself in at a police precinct in Lower Manhattan that morning and subsequently made a brief 15-minute appearance at Manhattan Criminal Court, though he did not enter a plea during that hearing and a date of July 17 was set for his next court appearance.

He was then released on a $100,000 bond, was ordered to surrender his passport, to seek the court's permission if he wished to leave the state, and made to sign an extradition waiver that would guarantee his return from elsewhere if he did end up exiting New York without approval.

At the time that he had turned himself in, Penny's attorney Kenniff told reporters, "He did so voluntarily, and with the sort of dignity and integrity that is characteristic of his history of service to this grateful nation," and added, "The case will now go to court and we expect an arraignment will occur this afternoon. The process will unfold from there."

DA Bragg told reporters that his office would not discuss the case but did say that he had probable cause to support the felony charge against Penny, and said, "Jordan Neely should still be alive today, and my thoughts continue to be with his family and loved ones as they mourn his loss during this extremely painful time."

Neely had a long history of assaults and threats against others

WNBC further reported that DA Bragg's office had been under tremendous pressure from activists and protesters, as well as Neely's family, to bring criminal charges against Penny -- though it is unclear if the protesting mob and Bragg will also seek charges against the two other individuals seen on video of the incident helping Penny to restrain Neely.

According to witnesses who observed the incident, Neely had been acting aggressively and making threats toward others, though he hadn't actually physically attacked anybody at that point when Penny and the other individuals made their moves to try to subdue him.

The outlet also noted what the activists and protesters have conveniently ignored -- Neely's lengthy history of mental illness that stemmed from the murder of his mother in 2007 as well as his long rap sheet that included multiple physical assaults against others on the subway system, and for which he had an active felony warrant out for his arrest at the time of his death, per Breitbart.

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