The Navy veteran seen in one Video putting Jordan Neely in a deadly choke hold on a New York City subway was charged on Friday with second-degree manslaughter, which Neely’s family felt was too lenient.
“Is that enough for someone who choked and killed someone on the train?” attorney Lennon Edwards asked at a news conference Friday afternoon, hours after Daniel Penny turned himself in at the station building in Manhattan’s 5th Precinct.
Edwards said Neely’s family wanted Penny to be charged with murder because he could have used any other technique but “deliberately chose a technique designed to cut off the air.”
“It’s a decision he made, and it was on purpose. So we believe the murder conviction should be because it is premeditated,” he told reporters.
Officials have not said how they settled on the involuntary manslaughter charge.
“After evaluating the available facts and evidence, the Manhattan Attorney’s Office has concluded that there was probable cause for the arrest of Daniel Penny and the indictment of him on felony charges,” District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement.
He added that the investigation involved interviewing witnesses, carefully reviewing photo and video footage, and interviewing the coroner.
“Jordan Neely should be alive today and my thoughts continue to go out to his family and loved ones who are grieving his loss at this extremely painful time,” Bragg said.
Thomas Kenniff, an attorney for Penny, said earlier Friday that his client volunteered himself shortly after 8 a.m. ET “with the kind of dignity and integrity that has characterized his history of service to this grateful nation.”
Penny, 24, left the precinct in handcuffs and was escorted to a waiting car, which took him to the Manhattan Criminal Court building. He did not answer the reporters’ questions.
Penny entered the court surrounded by detectives, wearing a gray suit, white shirt and mask.
During the trial, the judge asked him if he would waive extradition, and he said, “Yes.”
At the time of his indictment, bail was set at $100,000. Penny paid $6,000 and his parents guaranteed the entire bail.
On the way out, he was surrounded by his defense team and investigators, and several people reached out to shake his hand.
Cellphone video partially captured the May Day incident on a northbound F train. It showed Penny on the ground and holds 30-year-old Neely in a stranglehold after an altercation.
Neely was unconscious when officers arrived and was pronounced dead at the hospital, police said. The city’s coroner’s office said he died of “compression of the neck (stranglehold)” and that it was a homicide.
Penny was briefly taken into custody after the incident and released.
Juan Alberto Vazquez, a witness who filmed the cellphone footage, recounted NBC New York that Neely got on the train and “started giving a somewhat aggressive speech in which he said he was hungry, he was thirsty, that he didn’t care, he didn’t care about going to jail, he didn’t care.” .” he gets a hefty life sentence.” Neely was homeless and was described as… Subway busker performing dance routines in costume as Michael Jackson.
Neely was held in a chokehold for about 15 minutes, Vazquez said. The video showed two other subway riders trying to help hold him down.
“It is character assassination and a clear example of why he believed he was entitled to take Jordan’s life,” her attorneys previously said.
On Friday, attorney Donte Mills questioned why no one on the train helped Neely, who he said was suffering from a mental illness as a result of his illness murder of the mother.
“Nobody on that train asked Jordan, ‘What’s going on? How can I help you?’ Instead, he was smothered,” he said. “Don’t take a loved one away from someone just because they’re unwell.”
A police spokesman said several 911 calls had been received regarding a physical altercation and that Neely and Penny were engaged in a “verbal argument” that “escalated into a physical altercation.”
“During the physical struggle between the two men, the 30-year-old lost consciousness,” the spokesman said previously.
Neely’s death sparked a nationwide debate with people denouncing it alertness And some politicians demanding officials to do more to address the problem homelessnessmental health and violence in subways.
In a statement Friday, Rev. Al Sharpton called on the justice system to “send a clear, loud message that vigilante justice was never acceptable.”
“Being homeless or black or having a mental illness should not be a death sentence,” he said, calling the charges against Penny “step one toward justice.”
Sharpton, the host of MSNBC’s PoliticsNation program, is expected to deliver the eulogy at Neely’s funeral in Harlem next Friday.
Penny’s next court date is scheduled for July 17.