In a tweet Friday night, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis praised a man charged with manslaughter for fatally choking Jordan Neely, a homeless subway passenger, in New York earlier this month.
“We must defeat the Soros-funded DAs, stop the left’s pro-criminal agenda, and reclaim the streets for law-abiding citizens,” DeSantis said wrote. “We stand with good Samaritans like Daniel Penny. Let’s show that Marine… America has his back.”
Mr Penny, a 24-year-old former US Marine, was charged with second-degree manslaughter on Friday.
He has not yet submitted a plea to the allegations.
On May 1, a man identified as Mr. Penny held the 30-year-old homeless former street performer in a fatal chokehold for several minutes until he died on the floor of an F-train at the Broadway-Lafayette platform in Manhattan. The city coroner determined that Neely’s cause of death was homicide.
The killing drew widespread criticism from local officials and protesters in New York. They argue that Neely’s death perpetuates a narrative in which Black people living in poverty face dismissal or deadly violence.
“Jordan Neely’s death was a homicide and charges must be brought immediately against his killer,” the city’s elected public attorney Jumaane Williams said in a statement shared with The Independent.
“To say anything else is an ambiguity that only advances a narrative that devalues the life of a black, homeless man with mental health problems and promotes an attitude of dehumanization among New Yorkers in dire need.”
Elected leaders and media coverage have created an environment “that encourages fear of and violence against those in need and portrays them as a threat to public safety,” he added. “But homelessness is not a felony. Mental health struggle is not a capital offense. Being black is not a capital crime.”
Alex Woodward contributed to this story.