Daniel Penny breaks his silence after Jordan Neely’s stranglehold death on the subway as ex-Marine blames ‘the system that let us down’
A former Marine accused of fatally choking a homeless black man on the New York subway has broken his silence, sparking a nationwide debate about racism and vigilantism.
Daniel Penny, 24, insisted he was not white supremacist and blamed a broken system for the death of Jordan Neely – a street performer who has been arrested multiple times while fighting his mental health.
“It has nothing to do with race,” Penny told dem New York Post.
“I mean, it’s a little weird. Anyone who has ever met me can tell you I love all people, I love all cultures.”
“I’m a normal guy.”
White Penny was filmed on camera on May 1, 2023 holding 30-year-old Neely in a chokehold for several minutes while two other passengers held his legs.
The incident went viral after it was revealed Neely had died in hospital, sparking protests across the country.
Observers suspected Penny acted out of hatred, while his attorneys claimed Neely aggressively threatened her client and other passengers.
Neely has arrested 44 people, including an incident in which he slapped a 67-year-old woman in the face after she exited the subway.
The young homeless man used to perform as a Michael Jackson impersonator but suffered from declining mental health.
Neely’s family said he never recovered from the death of his mother in 2007, who was strangled by her boyfriend.
The Manhattan District Attorney opened a brief investigation that resulted in Penny being arrested and charged with manslaughter for his alleged involvement.
He has not yet submitted a formal application.
Speaking to the Post, Penny is now trying to prove he’s a normal guy who loves all cultures.
“You can see that in my past and all my travels and adventures around the world. I was actually planning a road trip across Africa before this happened.”
Penny said the events of May 1st were unlike anything he had ever experienced before, but was unable to provide specific details due to the ongoing investigation.
“I can tell you that the threats, menace and terror that Jordan brought to Neely on that train is already well documented,” Penny said.
“I don’t think there will be any controversy at all. There are numerous witnesses from all walks of life who have absolutely no motive to do anything other than tell what actually happened.”
“They remember events consistently.”
When asked if he was ashamed of Neely’s death, Penny replied that he had no regrets.
“I always do what I think is right,” he said.
Rev. Al Sharpton read a statement at Neely’s funeral, which was transmitted to Penny during the interview.
The statement said: “We cannot live in a city where you can strangle me without provocation, without a weapon, without threats and go home and sleep in your bed while my family has to put me in a cemetery.”
Penny nodded but said he wasn’t sure who Sharpton, an American civil rights activist, was.
“I don’t know celebrities that well,” he told the Post.
Penny was released from prison on $100,000 bail after raising $2 million on a Christian crowdfunding website.
He is due to appear in court again in July and could face a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted. He has not yet submitted a formal application.