Authored by Mimi Nguyen Ly via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Daniel Penny, the U.S. Marine veteran who is facing criminal charges after he put a homeless man, Jordan Neely, in a fatal chokehold in New York City at the start of the month, has decided to speak publicly about the incident.
In an interview with the New York Post, the 24-year-old Penny said the fatal altercation that took place on a subway train in NYC “had nothing to do with race.”
Neely, a 30-year-old black man, had a long history of mental illness and more than 40 prior arrests ranging from disorderly conduct to assault, and an active warrant out for his arrest from a felony assault.
“I judge a person based on their character,” Penny told the newspaper. “I’m not a white supremacist.
“Everybody who’s ever met me can tell you, I love all people, I love all cultures.”
When asked by the paper what he would say to the family of Neely, whose funeral was on May 19, Penny said, “I’m deeply saddened by the loss of life.
“It’s tragic what happened to him. Hopefully, we can change the system that’s so desperately failed us.”
Second-Degree Manslaughter Charge
Penny was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on May 12, on a charge of second-degree manslaughter. The city medical examiner ruled the death of Neely a homicide due to “compression of neck (chokehold).”
Penny had pulled Neely to the floor and pinned him with a hold he learned during combat training, according to a video of the incident.
Juan Alberto Vázquez, a freelance journalist who recorded the clip, previously told the New York Post that Neely had been threatening and screaming at other passengers “in an aggressive manner,” while also complaining of hunger and thirst.
At one point, Neely started to scream that he was “fed up” and doesn’t care anymore whether he would go to jail for life.
Penny then approached Neely to restrain him. In the video, two other riders are also seen restraining Neely’s arms as Penny holds him in a headlock. After they let go of him, Neely is seen lying motionless on the floor.
According to the Post, Penny said he couldn’t elaborate about the details of the confrontation because of the pending court case, but said that it wasn’t like “anything [he’d] experienced before.”
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