Daniel Penny has revealed new details about what motivated him to subdue Jordan Neely in the New York City subway, an altercation that led to Neely’s death.
Penny told Fox News in an article published Thursday that Neely’s behavior, which reportedly involved screaming and threatening passengers, terrified him and others on the train. The former Marine told the outlet that passengers on the moving train had no way to escape and that he felt he needed to take action. (RELATED: Attorney Of Former Marine Charged In Jordan Neely Case Says Chokehold Had ‘Nothing To Do With Race’)
“Between stops, you’re trapped on the train, and there’s nowhere to go. You can try to move away, but you can only do so much on a packed car,” Penny told Fox, describing the May 1 incident. “I was scared. I looked around, and I saw older women and children, and they were terrified.”
— New York Post (@nypost) June 8, 2023
Penny also told Fox that he empathized with Jordan Neely’s family and sees them as victims of the “system.”
“They’ve been in my prayers. I feel for their loss,” he said. “Like Jordan, they’re also victims of a failed system.”
Some commentators have drawn attention to the racial element of the case, claiming that Penny was motivated by anti-black sentiment. Penny denied these allegations, telling Fox his decision to subdue Neely kept people on the train safe, including people from racial minorities.
“The majority of the people on that train that I was protecting were minorities, so it definitely hurts a lot to be called [a racist],” Penny told Fox.
Penny also told the outlet he does not regret engaging with Neely, who he said “would have killed somebody” if he had carried out is threats. The former Marine has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and faces up to 15 years in prison, Fox noted.
The incident, videos of which went viral on social media, sparked national outrage and discussion over Penny’s use of force and the homelessness crisis. Neely’s family started a crowdfunding effort and announced a lawsuit against Daniel Penny, though Neely had been homeless for years prior to his death.