On the day that the White House has demanded a “thorough investigation” into the murder of a homeless Black man earlier this month on a subway car in New York, the suspect, an ex-Marine will face second-degree manslaughter charges.
“We can confirm that Daniel Penny will be arrested on a charge of manslaughter in the second degree,” the Manhattan District Attorney’s office announced in a statement on May 11.
While riding the ‘F train’ on May 1, Jordan Neely appeared agitated as he sought food.
Penny inexplicably placed Neely in a chokehold for nearly 15 minutes.
Neely died shortly after the incident, and while police questioned Penny, they released him without charges.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg had said he would let a grand jury decide whether to file charges.
“Jordan Neely’s killing was tragic and deeply disturbing,” a White House spokesman said this week, ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit to the Big Apple.
“Our hearts go out to his family and loved ones. We firmly believe that the events surrounding his death demand a thorough investigation.”
Neely’s passing sparked protests and a national debate and brought attention to the occasionally harsh and violent treatment of homeless people, particularly those with mental illness.
Advocates and Neely’s supporters expressed anger that police only briefly held Penny and that he has not faced charges.
Penny’s attorneys have defended him despite a national uproar over the incident.
They claim that Neely was the aggressor, and his alleged mental illness exacerbated the situation.
“When Mr. Neely began aggressively threatening Daniel Penny and the other passengers, Daniel, with the help of others, acted to protect themselves until help arrived,” Penny’s lawyers stated.
“Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.”
Neely’s relatives responded, alleging Penny never helped Neely and didn’t care about him.
According to Neely’s attorneys, Daniel Penny’s press release was not an apology, and the former marine hasn’t expressed regret for his deadly act.
“It is a character assassination and a clear example of why he believed he was entitled to take Jordan’s life.”