A witness is coming forward with information on the Jordan Neely case that might potentially exonerate defendant Daniel Penny of the charges he now faces due to the prosecution of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Daniel Penny is the Marine who put Jordan Neely in a chokehold on the NYC subway due to reports that the homeless man was threatening train passengers.
The 66-year-old woman, who did not wish to be identified, told the New York Post on Thursday that she was grateful for what Penny had done to protect the subway passengers.
“I hope he has a great lawyer, and I’m praying for him,” she reportedly said. “And I pray that he gets treated fairly, I really do. Because after all of this ensued, I went back and made sure that I said ‘Thank you’ to him.”
According to reports, Neely, who had a known history of mental illness, allegedly posed a threat to fellow passengers when he boarded an F train in Manhattan.
“He said, ‘I don’t care. I’ll take a bullet, I’ll go to jail’ because he would kill people on the train,” the woman said about Neely. “He said, ‘I would kill a motherf—er. I don’t care. I’ll take a bullet. I’ll go to jail.’”
The retiree stated that initially, Penny refrained from engaging with Neely during his disruptive outburst. However, as the situation escalated and became uncontrollable, Penny felt compelled to intervene.
“This gentleman, Mr. Penny, did not stand up,” the rider said. “Did not engage with the gentleman. He said not a word. It was all Mr. Neely that was … threatening the passengers. If he did not get what he wants.”
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has confirmed that Penny will face charges of second-degree manslaughter. If convicted of the manslaughter charge, the Marine could potentially face a sentence of up to 15 years.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Penny’s legal team expressed their confidence that once all the facts are presented, Penny will be cleared of any wrongdoing. They maintained that he acted in self-defense and in the interest of protecting himself and the other passengers involved.
Attorneys representing the family of Jordan Neely, the victim of a fatal chokehold, criticized Manhattan prosecutors for charging Penny with manslaughter, asserting that his actions were intentional and demanding a murder charge.
During a press conference held outside 225 West 34th St. in Midtown Manhattan, Donte Mills and Lennon Edwards voiced their concerns shortly after Penny surrendered to the police. Neely’s father, Andre Zachary, and his aunt Mildred Mahazu were present but did not speak at the event.
Mills and Edwards acknowledged Penny’s arrest but emphasized that it fell short of their expectations. They acknowledged that justice would be a long and challenging journey, emphasizing that their pursuit of justice would not cease until they achieved a full resolution.
Edwards stated, “Today we are not going to stop until we have full justice. We are going to pause to recognize that we have taken the first step, a step in the right direction.”
According to Edwards, “Justice looks like a conviction, and justice looks like a conviction for murder.”
Outside the 5th Precinct in Lower Manhattan, Penny’s attorney, Thomas Kenniff, stated that his client had voluntarily surrendered with the same dignity and integrity that defined his history of service.
Reverend Al Sharpton, who was requested by Neely’s family to deliver the eulogy at his upcoming funeral, expressed approval of Penny’s arrest.
“Charges against this young man who thought he was above the law is just step one in justice for Jordan Neely,” the veteran civil rights leader said in a statement. “The video of him grabbing Jordan and strangling him to death is disturbing and any jury should see it as such.”
“The justice system needs to send a clear, loud message that vigilantism has never been acceptable,” Sharpton added. “Being homeless or Black or having a mental health episode should not be a death sentence.”
Disturbing video footage depicted Penny, a former Marine hailing from Queens, intervening to restrain Neely and ultimately using a chokehold on him. As a result of the chokehold, Neely, aged 30, lost consciousness and subsequently died at the hospital.
Sources have indicated that Neely grappled with mental health challenges and accumulated over 40 arrests in his criminal record.
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