Daniel Penny has been charged with manslaughter in the second-degree in New York City in connection with the death of Jordan Neely on a city subway.
Daniel Penny “was arraigned today in Manhattan Criminal Court on the below complaint. The People’s request for bail in the amount of $100,000 cash / Insurance Company Bond / Partially Secured Surety Bond was granted,” a news release from the Manhattan district attorney’s office, emailed to Heavy, says.
“In addition, Mr. Penny is required to surrender any passports within 48 hours. He also signed a waiver of extradition and must seek permission from the court should he seek to leave New York State. The next court date is July 17 in Part F.”
A viral video, which you can watch later in this story, showed Penny putting Neely in a chokehold after, the DA’s news release says, “several witnesses observed Mr. Neely making threats and scaring passengers.” Be forewarned that it’s disturbing.
Penny is a 24-year-old former U.S. Marine. You can read more about his background here.
Neely’s death has sparked protests and calls for charges from prominent people. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat, tweeted: “Jordan Neely was murdered. But bc Jordan was houseless and crying for food in a time when the city is raising rents and stripping services to militarize itself while many in power demonize the poor, the murderer gets protected w/ passive headlines + no charges. It’s disgusting.”
Penny’s law firm, Raiser and Kenniff, P.C., previously issued a statement on his behalf to ABC7.
“When Mr. Neely began aggressively threatening Daniel Penny and the other passengers, Daniel, with the help of others, acted to protect themselves, until help arrived,” the statement said. “Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.” On May 12, Penny’s attorneys released another statement. “He risked his own life and safety, for the good of his fellow passengers. The unfortunate result was the unintended and unforeseen death of Mr. Neely,” it said, according to CNN. Heavy has reached out to Penny’s law firm for comment.
“We believe that the conviction should be for murder because that was intentional,” said Neely family attorney Lennon Edwards, according to CNN.
Here’s what you need to know:
Daniel Penny Was Charged After ‘Numerous Witness Interviews’ & a Review of the Photo & Video Footage, the Manhattan D.A. Says
“After an evaluation of the available facts and evidence, the Manhattan D.A.’s Office determined there was probable cause to arrest Daniel Penny and arraign him on felony charges,” District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement, according to the press release.
“The investigation thus far has included numerous witness interviews, careful review of photo and video footage, and discussions with the Medical Examiner’s Office. As this case proceeds, we will be constrained from speaking outside the courtroom to ensure this remains a fair and impartial matter,” said Bragg. “Jordan Neely should still be alive today, and my thoughts continue to be with his family and loved ones as they mourn his loss during this extremely painful time.”
The complaint, sent to Heavy upon request by Bragg’s office, accuses Penny of having “recklessly caused the death of another person.” It reads in full:
I am informed by an individual known to the District Attorney’s Office (‘Informant’) that at the above- mentioned date, time, and location, Informant observed the defendant come up from behind an individual, later identified as Jordan Neely, pull him down to the ground, and further observed the defendant hold his arm around Mr. Neely’s neck for several minutes.
I am informed by a second individual known to the District Attorney’s Office (‘Informant #2’) that Informant #2 was present at the above date, time, and location, and that Informant #2 took a video recording on Informant #2’s cellphone. I reviewed the video recording, which depicts the defendant on the ground with Mr. Neely, with the defendant’s arm around Mr. Neely’s neck. I observed that at the point that the defendant releases his arm from Mr. Mr. Neely’s neck, Mr. Neely appears to be unconscious.
I am informed by Police Officer Teodoro Tejada, shield 25055, of the 5th Precinct, that he responded to the Broadway-Lafayette subway station at approximately 2:33 P.M. on May 1, 2023. Officer Tejada located the northbound F train platform and entered train car number 9774 and observed a male, later identified to be Jordan Neely, laying on the ground unconscious and unresponsive. I am informed by Officer Tejada that EMS transported Mr. Neely to Lenox Healthplex Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
I am informed by Dr. Cynthia Harris, of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, that she would be conducting the autopsy. I reviewed a Certificate of Death from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. It contains a certification by the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner certifying that that attached are true copies of the document(s) in OCME’s possession. The Certificate of Death, signed by Dr. Harris, states that the cause of death to Mr. Neely was ‘Compression of neck (chokehold).’
The Bail Application Says That Daniel Penny ‘Continued to Hold Mr. Neely in the Chokehold for Several Minutes’
The bail application was presented to the court by Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steingrass. It was also emailed to Heavy by Bragg’s office.
“The backdrop of this May 1 incident is presumably somewhat known to the Court. Since that date, we have been conducting a thorough investigation of all the circumstances surrounding the events of May 1, including speaking to numerous eyewitnesses, reviewing video, speaking with 911 callers, responding officers, etc.,” Steingrass said, according to the email.
“Jordan Neely entered the northbound F train at approximately 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. Several witnesses observed Mr. Neely making threats and scaring passengers the defendant approached Mr. Neely from behind and placed him in a chokehold, taking him down to the ground,” Steingrass continued.
“When the train arrived at the next stop, Broadway-Lafayette, the defendant continued to hold Mr. Neely in the chokehold for several minutes. During the hold, 2 additional males aided the defendant by restraining Mr. Neely’s arms,” the statement says. “At some point Mr. Neely stopped moving. The defendant continued to hold Mr. Neely for a period and then released him. Police were summoned, responded, and found Mr. Neely unresponsive. After resuscitative efforts by the police and EMS, the decedent was transported to hospital and pronounced dead.”
As a result, Steingrass’s statement says, “The People are seeking the following bail conditions: $100K cash/$100K Insurance Company Bond/$100K partially secured surety bond, along with the defendant surrendering his passports within 48 hours. The defendant must not leave the state of New York absent written judicial approval that may be sought for events such as an out-of-state wedding or funeral. The defendant must execute a waiver of extradition in advance.”
Steingrass noted, “The purpose of bail, as your honors knows, is to ensure the defendant’s return to Court. In doing so, we must weigh the severity of this homicide charge with the likelihood that the defendant will flee. In that regard, it is noteworthy that the defendant has demonstrated community ties.”
According to Steingrass, Penny “grew up and attended high school” in the greater New York City area, lives in New York City and has family in and near the city, and attends college there.
“In addition, the defendant remained on scene to provide his information to responding officers and accompanied them back to the precinct to voluntarily answer questions about the encounter with Mr. Neely,” he said. “Finally, the defendant surrendered this morning to the NYPD after being advised that he would be arrested. On the other hand, the defendant is charged with a C felony which carries a maximum sentence of 5 to 15 years in state prison. As such, substantial bail is warranted.”
According to CNN, the bail package also forces Penny to surrender his passport. Penny is in college studying architecture, CNN reported, and he left a police precinct in handcuffs on May 12, 2023.
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