Prosecutors have confirmed that a man has been indicted in relation to the fatal choking of Jordan Neely, a New York City subway rider, Your Content has learned.
Daniel Penny, who was initially charged with manslaughter, now faces additional charges following the decision by a grand jury.
The specific charges will be revealed during Penny’s arraignment on June 28th. This indictment was crucial for the progression of the case, as it required the grand jury’s approval.
The incident occurred on May 1 when Neely, a former Michael Jackson impersonator facing homelessness and mental health challenges, became agitated on the subway.
Neely was shouting at fellow passengers and soliciting money when Penny, a former U.S. Marine, along with two other riders, restrained him on the floor of the moving subway car.
Penny then held Neely in a chokehold for over three minutes until Neely became unconscious.
Penny claimed that his actions were in self-defense and to protect other passengers, alleging that Neely had made threats of violence and expressed a willingness to die or go to jail for life.
In a video released by his attorneys, Penny explained, “He was yelling in their faces saying these threats. I just couldn’t sit still.”
A freelance journalist who recorded the incident stated that while Neely was acting aggressively and causing fear, he had not physically assaulted anyone.
It is worth noting that Neely was Black, while Penny is white.
The death of Jordan Neely sparked protests from those who perceived it as a manifestation of racial injustice, reigniting debates on vigilantism and public safety in New York City. Several individuals, including Rev.
Al Sharpton, drew parallels between this incident and the Bernhard Goetz case in 1984, where a white gunman shot four Black men on a subway train.
Meanwhile, Penny has received support from various quarters, including several Republican presidential candidates.
A legal defense fund established for Penny has amassed over $2.8 million, as per his lawyers.
Attorneys Steven Raiser and Thomas Keniff expressed confidence that Penny’s actions on the train would be deemed justified by a trial jury.
They noted, “While we respect the decision of the grand jury to move this case forward to trial, it should be noted that the standard of proof in a grand jury is very low and there has been no finding of wrongdoing.”
Jordan Neely, aged 30, had a history of multiple arrests and had recently pleaded guilty to assaulting a 67-year-old woman at a subway station in 2021.
Daniel Penny, aged 24, was released on a $100,000 bond following his court appearance on May 12.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams released a statement welcoming the indictment and expressing confidence in the judicial process.
He stated, “I appreciate DA Bragg conducting a thorough investigation into the death of Jordan Neely. Like I said when the DA first brought charges, I have the utmost faith in the judicial process, and now that the Grand Jury has indicted Daniel Penny, a trial and justice can move forward”, according The Seattle Times.