Former US Marine Charged in Dying of Homeless Man Breaks Silence: ‘Nothing to Do With Race’

Daniel Penny, the U.S. Marine veteran who’s going through felony expenses after he put a homeless man, Jordan Neely, in a deadly chokehold in New York Metropolis in the beginning of the month, has determined to talk publicly concerning the incident.

In an interview with the New York Publish, the 24-year-old Penny stated the lethal altercation that occurred on a subway practice in NYC “had nothing to do with race.”

Neely, 30, is black. He had a protracted historical past of psychological sickness and greater than 40 prior arrests starting from disorderly conduct to assault, and an energetic warrant out for his arrest from a felony assault.

In responses to questions from the paper, Penny stated, “I decide an individual based mostly on their character. I’m not a white supremacist.”

“All people who’s ever met me can inform you, I really like all folks, I really like all cultures,” he stated within the interview, revealed on Saturday.

When requested by the paper what he would say to the household of Neely, whose funeral was Friday, Penny stated: “I’m deeply saddened by the lack of life.”

“It’s tragic what occurred to him,” he added. “Hopefully, we are able to change the system that’s so desperately failed us.”

Epoch Times Photo
New York law enforcement officials administer CPR to Jordan Neely on a subway practice in New York on Could 1, 2023. (Paul Martinka through AP)

Second-Diploma Manslaughter Cost

Penny was arraigned in Manhattan Prison Courtroom on Could 12, on expenses of second-degree manslaughter.

Town medical expert dominated the loss of life of Neely a murder because of “compression of neck (chokehold).”

Penny had pulled Neely to the ground and pinned him with a maintain he discovered throughout fight coaching, in keeping with video of the incident.

Juan Alberto Vazquez, a contract journalist who recorded the clip, beforehand advised the New York Publish that Neely had been threatening and screaming at different passengers “in an aggressive method,” whereas additionally complaining of starvation and thirst.

At one level, Neely began to scream that he was “fed up” and doesn’t care anymore whether or not he would go to jail for all times.

Penny then approached Neely to restrain him. Within the video, two different riders are additionally seen restraining Neely’s arms as Penny holds him in a headlock. After they let go of the him, Neely is seen mendacity immobile on the ground.

In line with the Publish, Penny stated he can’t elaborate into the small print of the confrontation because of pending court docket proceedings, however stated that it wasn’t like “something I’d skilled earlier than.”

Epoch Times Photo
New York law enforcement officials reply to the scene the place a battle was reported on a subway practice in New York on Could 1, 2023. (Paul Martinka through AP)

Attorneys Argue Self-Protection

Neely household legal professional Lennon Edwards had advised reporters on Could 12: “Daniel Penny selected, deliberately selected, a method to make use of that’s designed to chop off air—that’s what he selected—and he selected to proceed to carry that chokehold minute after minute, second after second, till there was no life left in Jordan Neely.”

However Penny’s legal professionals have stated he was performing in self-defense. His legal professional, Thomas Kenniff, beforehand advised the Publish that he’s “assured” that Penny “will likely be absolved of any incorrect doing.”

Kenniff and one other lawyer, Steven Raiser, had issued an announcement on Could 5, saying that Neely had been “aggressively threatening” their shopper, and that Penny and others “acted to guard themselves, till assist arrived.”

“Daniel [Penny] by no means meant to hurt Mr. Neely and couldn’t have foreseen his premature loss of life,” the legal professionals stated.

A crowdfunding marketing campaign launched by Kenniff and Raiser to pay for Penny’s authorized charges has gathered over $2.7 million as of the time of reporting.

“Any proceeds collected which exceed these essential to cowl Mr. Penny’s authorized protection will likely be donated to a psychological well being advocacy program in New York Metropolis,” the legal professionals stated.

If convicted of manslaughter within the second diploma, Penny might face as a lot as 15 years in jail. He’s due again in court docket for one more listening to on July 17.

Tom Ozimek and Lorenz Duchamps contributed to this report.