Daniel Penny, a member of the United States Marine Corps who was wrongly accused by the district attorney’s office in Manhattan, speaks out for the first time about the incident in which he put a homeless man in a fatal chokehold.
Penny claimed that the incident that resulted in Jordan Neely’s death had nothing to do with race, but rather everything to do with a flawed system “that so desperately failed us.”
“This had nothing to do with race,” Penny told the New York Post. “I judge a person based on their character. I’m not a white supremacist.”
The former marine expressed his profound sorrow over the tragic event but argued that he had every right to defend himself and others who were riding the subway with him on that particular day.
“I’m deeply saddened by the loss of life,” Penny continued. “You know, I live an authentic and genuine life. And I would — if there was a threat and danger in the present.”
The veteran, who is 24 years old, stated that he does not feel ashamed of what he did and added that he always does what he believes to be right in any given situation.
Penny claimed in an interview with the Post that he was on his way to the gym at the time that Neely boarded his subway vehicle in early May. Neely, who allegedly struggled with mental illness, reportedly started ranting about being hungry and weary in addition to going to jail. According to statements made by other passengers, Neely was shouting and behaving wildly prior to Penny intervening and putting a chokehold on him.
Neely is accused of shouting at other straphangers and hurling trash, which sparked the on-train altercation. Because of his pending lawsuit, Penny said he was unable to elaborate on what happened next, although he did say it wasn’t like “anything I’d experienced before.”
“This was different, this time was much different,” Penny said.
He paused and said again, “This time was very different.”
Thomas Kenniff, Penny’s attorney, of the Manhattan law firm Raiser & Kenniff asserted that other F train riders will corroborate his client’s story.
“I can tell you that the threats, the menacing, the terror that Jordan Neely introduced to that train has already been well documented. I don’t think it’s going to even be controverted. There are numerous witnesses from all different walks of life who have absolutely no motive to do anything other than to recount what actually happened. They are uniform in their recollection of events.”
In an interview with Fox News Digital, a witness stated that he believes Penny “saved a lot of people that day that could have gotten hurt.” The witness also recalled that Neely had been chanting terms like “kill” and “bullet” during the incident.
Penny responded to a question about how he feels about the unfavorable media coverage and public uproar that followed the incident by saying that he has kept calm and that worrying won’t make his troubles go away. This was in response to the fact that the incident occurred.
“If you’re faced with all these challenges, you have to remain calm,” Penny said. “What’s the point of worrying about something? Worrying is not going to make your problems disappear. I attribute this to my father and grandfather. They are very, very stoic.”
Penny responded with a yes when he was asked if he would do the same thing if he were in a scenario similar to the one he was in.
“You know, I live an authentic and genuine life,” Penny said. “And I would — if there was a threat and danger in the present …”
Does he feel he did anything to be ashamed of?
“I don’t, I mean, I always do what I think is right.”