Family Of Subway Chokehold Victim Breaks Silence

[Screenshot/YouTube/Eyewitness News ABC 7 NY]

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The family of the homeless man killed on the New York Subway after his reportedly aggressive behavior landed him in a chokehold spoke out Monday, accusing the Marine who subdued him of “indifference.”

Jordan Neely, 30, was killed after he reportedly began acting aggressively towards his fellow passengers on the New York Subway May 2. Daniel Penny, a 24-year-old Marine veteran, sprang to action and worked to subdue Neely by placing him into a chokehold and holding him on the ground until authorities arrived at the next station. In what has been dubbed an “awful tragedy” by Penny’s lawyers, Neely died from the encounter.

“Mr. Neely had a documented history of violent and erratic behavior, the apparent result of ongoing and untreated mental illness. 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. Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death,” a statement from Penny’s lawyers at the Raiser and Kenniff law firm read, according to ABC 7 News.

“For too long, those suffering from mental illness have been treated with indifference,” the statement continued. “We hope that out of this awful tragedy will come a new commitment by our elected officials to address the mental health crisis on our streets and subways.”(RELATED: GAMA SOSA: Jordan Neely’s Death Is No Surprise. The Democrats Destroyed Everything That Could Have Helped Him)

Calling the statement a “character assassination,” Neely’s family argued Penny knew “nothing about Jordan’s history when he intentionally wrapped his arms around Jordan’s neck, and squeezed and kept squeezing,” ABC 7 reported. Rejecting the idea that society has treated those suffering from mental health problems with indifference, Neely’s family argued that it was Penny who showed indifference to Neely.

“It is clear he is the one who acted with indifference, both at the time he killed Jordan and now in his first public message. He never attempted to help him at all. In short, his actions on the train, and now his words, show why he needs to be in prison,” Attorneys Donte Mills and Lennon Edwards said on behalf of Neely’s family, according to ABC 7 News.

The lawyers representing Neely’s family further criticized New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ response, also accusing him of indifference to Neely. “The family wants you to know Jordan matters. You seem to think others are more important than him,” the lawyers stated, according to the outlet.

Though Neely’s death has been listed as a homicide by New York City’s medical examiner, Penny has not yet been charged with any crime in relation to Neely’s death. Legal experts have stated the decision to potentially charge the Marine with a crime will come down to whether the restraint of Neely was justified.