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Lawyer for Jordan Neely’s Family Blasts Subway Riders for Not Asking Ranting Homeless Man, ‘How Can I Help You?’

New York City subway riders confronted with the deranged and dangerous should offer a touch of cooing conventional politeness, according to the lawyer for the family of Jordan Neely.

Neely, a homeless man with a history of criminal offenses and mental health issues, died after an incident on a subway in which passengers restrained him. Former Marine Daniel Penny, who was shown on video putting Neely in a chokehold, has been charged with manslaughter in the incident.

During a Friday news conference, attorney Donte Mills said that while Penny must pay for Neely’s death, the indifference of others was also a crime.


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“No one on that train asked Jordan, ‘What’s wrong? How can I help you?’ He was choked to death instead,” he said.

“So for everybody saying, ‘I’ve been on the train, and I’ve been afraid before, and I can’t tell you what I would have done in that situation,’ I’m going to tell you. Ask how you can help. Please. Don’t attack, don’t choke, don’t kill,” he said.

After relating that Neely said he was hungry and angry, the attorney said the passengers on the train failed Neely.

“No one said: ‘Here you are, sir, let me meet your needs or help you in a situation or give a word of encouragement,’” he said.

Should any blame be put on other subway riders?

According to the New York Post, the attorney said the charge against Penny is wrong.

“We believe that the conviction should be for murder because that’s intentional,” Mills said. “He could have chosen to let him go, but he didn’t.”

“We think it should be murder because he knew what would happen. He knew [Neely] would die,” Mills said

A woman who rode the train the day Neely died had a different opinion, according to the New York Post.

The Post did not use the name of the 66-year-old woman, who said Penny did the right thing.


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“I hope he has a great lawyer, and I’m praying for him. And I pray that he gets treated fairly, I really do. Because after all of this ensued, I went back and made sure that I said, ‘Thank you,’ to him,” she said.

She said that on the train that morning, Neely “said, ‘I don’t care. I’ll take a bullet. I’ll go to jail’ because he would kill people on the train. He said, ‘I would kill a motherf***er. I don’t care. I’ll take a bullet. I’ll go to jail.’”

She said Penny only intervened after the incident had gotten out of control.

“This gentleman, Mr. Penny, did not stand up. Did not engage with the gentleman. He said not a word. It was all Mr. Neely that was … threatening the passengers if he did not get what he wants,” she said.

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