Progressive Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg decided to press criminal charges against Daniel Penny, a Marine veteran who used a chokehold to restrain Jordan Neely, a mentally ill homeless man with a lengthy criminal record who was allegedly threatening others, in an ultimately fatal May 1 incident on a New York City subway train.
In the couple of days that have elapsed since the charge was filed, a legal defense fund set up on Penny's behalf has been inundated with donations in a clear display of support for his alleged actions to protect the safety of others, the Conservative Brief reported.
The massive amount of contributions to Penny's defense fund also serves as an expression of a backlash against DA Bragg, who bowed to the intense pressure imposed upon him by progressive politicians, activists, and mobs of angry protesters who demanded that Penny be held accountable for Neely's death.
Last week, a legal defense fund for Penny was established on the fundraiser site GiveSendGo by the defense attorneys for the accused Marine veteran.
"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," the fundraiser's description stated.
"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 statement added.
As of Sunday afternoon, Penny's legal defense fund had already raised more than $1.75 million.
New York's WABC reported on Friday that Penny voluntarily turned himself in that morning to authorities at a Manhattan police precinct and shortly thereafter made a brief appearance in court to be arraigned on a charge of second-degree manslaughter, which could result in up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Penny did not enter a plea during that hearing and was ultimately released after a $100,000 bond was posted, and he is next scheduled to appear in court on July 17.
Of course, the family of Neely, bolstered by the demands of activists and protesters, let it be known that they are not satisfied with the manslaughter charge against Penny and instead have urged DA Bragg to pursue first-degree murder charges in the case.
For his part, Bragg said in a statement, "After an evaluation of the available facts and evidence, the Manhattan D.A.'s Office determined there was probable cause to arrest Daniel Penny and arraign him on felony charges. The investigation thus far has included numerous witness interviews, a careful review of photo and video footage, and discussions with the Medical Examiner's Office."
"As this case proceeds, we will be constrained from speaking outside the courtroom to ensure this remains a fair and impartial matter," the prosecutor added. "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."
The New York Post's editorial board on Friday called out DA Bragg for skipping the routine step of seeking an indictment from a grand jury and proceeded instead to directly file the criminal charge against Penny in an apparent response to the unrelenting pressure from leftist activists and politicians who've essentially called for Penny's head as "justice" for Neely's death.
However, the editorial board noted, "All the loudmouths braying for Penny’s head don’t give a damn about restoring public safety in New York City. And by jumping to work their will, Bragg again proved his loyalty to Team Crime."