OAN Brooke Mallory
UPDATED 2:42 PM – Monday, May 15, 2023
After 24-year-old Marine veteran Daniel Penny was charged with the chokehold death of a homeless man in the New York City subway, Kid Rock was one of the top contributors to his growing legal defense fund.
With the support of the singer, who contributed $5,000 and had a stern message for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the GiveSendGo fundraiser has amassed a little more than $2 million in donations.
“Mr. Penny is a hero. Alvin Bragg is a POS. Kid Rock,” the donation message read.
A spokesman for Kid Rock also attested to the musician’s involvement in the donation.
Since Penny was charged with second-degree manslaughter on Friday for fatally choke-holding Jordan Neely, 30, on a subway in New York City, donations have poured in from all around the nation.
Neely, who had a mental disorder and was acting belligerent, had been “making threats and scaring passengers” on May 1st when Penny took him down to the ground and put an arm over his neck to hold him, according to the prosecution.
Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, was not the only famous person who contributed to the defense campaign.
Vivek Ramaswamy, the 37-year-old entrepreneur running for president as a Republican, donated $10,000.
According to the presidential candidate and Ohio resident, Neely should have been in jail or a mental hospital, “not free to terrorize his fellow citizens.”
“You have an abandonment of the rule of law,” he told the press. “Then someone who tries to assist and protect people, based on the current facts we have… is now being prosecuted. That represents a perversion of how the system is supposed to work.”
On the crowdfunding platform, more than 42,000 people had contributed as of Monday morning.
Journalist and notable podcaster Tim Pool posted on his Facebook page that he would be personally donating $20,000 to Penny’s campaign as well. The largest donation yet.
“Penny is the subway Good Samaritan, and we are lucky to have brave souls like him who are willing to do the right thing,” Pool tweeted.
The fund was established on Tuesday by Penny’s attorneys, Thomas Kenniff and Steven Raiser, to raise money for their client’s legal defense against pending criminal charges and possible civil litigation. Any extra money left, according to the lawyers, will be donated to a New York City organization that promotes mental health.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis promoted the fundraiser on Twitter on Saturday.
According to Jacob Wells, co-founder of GiveSendGo, Penny’s campaign is the second-best performer since the website’s introduction in 2015. He mentioned that his donations were once flowing in at a rate of $1,000 per minute.
“It definitely has sparked an emotional response with many people,” he said.
Additionally, $125,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe campaign for Penny’s family.
The death of Neely has caused much division in the city, with some New Yorkers denouncing Penny as a racist murderer and others hailing him as a hero.
The now-deceased man had a long history of violent attacks in the Manhattan subway and had been detained more than 40 times. Neely was reportedly on the city’s “Top 50” list of homeless individuals most in need of assistance, which is an internal list maintained by the Department of Homeless Services. Outreach workers were familiar with him and his struggles.
According to court documents obtained by the press, Neely punched a 67-year-old woman in the face in 2021, shattering her nose and orbital bone. Four months prior, he had struck another woman in the face.
In another instance, he broke one victim’s nose when he sucker-punched two men in the face at several subway stops one month apart in 2019.
Penny, who was released from jail on a $100,000 bond, must appear in court once again on July 17th.
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