OAN Brooke Mallory
UPDATED 12:03 PM – Sunday, May 14, 2023
In a tweet on Friday night, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hailed Daniel Penny, the former marine accused of manslaughter in the death of homeless subway passenger Jordan Neely in New York earlier this month.
“We must defeat the Soros-Funded DAs, stop the Left’s pro-criminal agenda, and take back the streets for law abiding citizens,” Mr DeSantis wrote. “We stand with Good Samaritans like Daniel Penny. Let’s show this Marine… America’s got his back.”
On Friday, Penny, a former U.S. Marine who is 24 years old, was charged with second-degree homicide.
He has not yet entered a plea to the allegations.
Neely, a 30-year-old homeless former street performer, was put in a fatal chokehold by Penny on May 1st for several minutes before he passed away on the floor of a F train on the Broadway-Lafayette platform in Manhattan. The city medical examiner determined that homicide was Neely’s cause of death.
Thomas Kenniff, a lawyer for Penny, said his client did not intend to kill Neely and is handling the situation with the “integrity and honor that is characteristic of who he is and characteristic of his honorable service in the United States Marine Corps.” Penny’s attorneys also claimed that he was acting in self-defense when he put the homeless man in a chokehold.
Neely had been reportedly acting belligerent and threatening, however, many New Yorkers mentioned that seeing loud, mentally-ill subway passengers was not a rare occurrence and did not allot Neely’s takedown.
Local New York authorities and demonstrators have harshly criticized Penny and the incident overall, claiming Neely’s death supports the argument that Black individuals who experience poverty are treated with hostility or fatal violence much more than White individuals.
“Jordan Neely’s death was a homicide, and charges must be immediately brought against his killer,” the city’s elected public advocate Jumaane Williams said in a statement. “To say anything else is an equivocation that will only further a narrative that devalues the life of a Black, homeless man with mental health challenges and encourages an attitude of dehumanization of New Yorkers in greatest need.”
A climate “that encourages fear of and violence against people who are struggling, that paints them as a threat to public safety” has been fostered by elected officials and media coverage, the speaker asserted.
“But being homeless is not a capital crime. Having mental health issues is not a capital crime. Struggling with mental health is not a capital crime. Being Black is not a capital crime.”
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