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In For A Penny, In For A Pound

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Jeenah Moon

In any use of force, the legal standard applied to someone’s conduct is called “the reasonable person standard.” Would a reasonable person have acted in the same way under the same or similar circumstances?


If you’ve ever had the displeasure of riding in an NYC subway train, you know the anxiety-provoking feeling of being locked in a small metal box with complete strangers, some who appear less than savory — if not scowling, sweating, and displaying every animal indication of impending violent outburst. 

Law enforcement has been made a luxury that rarely presents itself in an environment ripe for victimization. The subway is, in fact, synonymous with assault, battery, and every other permutation of felonious activity.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams should post signage at the subterranean entrances, featuring his toothy grin and the slogan, “all hope abandon, ye who enter here.” 

So, in this milieu of biological funk, mortal threat, and governmental malfeasance, is it unreasonable to assume that a full grown man, mentally deranged, might present a threat of assault or battery to a reasonable person?  

It is beyond question that Jordan Neely was a deeply troubled man. It is also beyond question that Neely was behaving in an erratic manner, and that not only Daniel Penny, but at least two other men, felt Neely’s demeanor was threatening and likely to produce violence. 

Two men assisted Penny in restraining Neely, which was Penny’s clear intention since he applied a choke hold, albeit likely executed improperly. This technique is still taught to and used by law enforcement in many jurisdictions as a less than lethal method of compliance.

Would a reasonable person have responded as Penny did? 

Men have been demonized by the left. Certainly men of action are vilified by every organ of influence wielded by liberals. The why is simple — totalitarians fear men of action because they cannot be cowed by effete bureaucrats. America is faced with the threat of ubiquitous administration — an army of suits, ensconced behind grey facades. Grey lines of professional, federal mangers who are feral in their desperation to enlarge power, pad pensions, and propagate status quo. 


Daniel Penny is a man of action. A threat to the hegemony of the state that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is rabid to defend. Bragg has spent his career decriminalizing, especially felonies. But yet, he’s now bent on prosecuting a man who was all in for law and order —in for a penny, in for a pound. Recently, Bragg shamelessly penned a sham indictment, devoid of any substantive criminal charges in yet another political prosecution of former President Donald Trump. 

Democrats know no shame in defense of their fiefdom. 

Mayor Adams, who knows he owns the fall of Gotham, would rather blame a man of action by describing Daniel Penny’s application of a choke hold as “a killing.” Being an empty suit Democrat, Adams cowered behind an alleged “racism that continues to permeate throughout our society [and] allows for a level of dehumanization that denies Black people from being recognized as victims when subjected to acts of violence.” 

That assertion strains credulity in light of the 2020 summer of insurrection, rioting, and pillaging. The “black lives matter” mantra has never been more in the forefront of American thought and dialogue. Though the movement has, from its inception, been a tool of leftist manipulation and grift, it has also demonstrated the institutional and sociological sensitivity to anything labeled “racist.” There is nothing so spurious in American culture and politics than to harangue about racism which, ironically, exists only within the dank precincts of Democrat power and corruption.  


Of course, the fact that NYC is a bastion of Democrat policies has nothing to do with the systemic failures that left Jordan Neely to wander the streets. Democrats will do anything to distract from their administrative state failures — since they are legion. 

Democrat controlled NYC has made sure to disarm the public, creating a target rich environment for every criminal predator who chooses to hunt their filthy public transit system packed full of juicy little lambs. 

Jordan Neely’s death isn’t about vigilantism, it’s about Democrat policy. It’s accomplished precisely what it’s been designed to create. The eternally compassionate, woke, and inclusive have created a seething social environment of envy, want, and racism. 

It serves the liberal ideology to fracture traditional social structures, pitting one manufactured group against another, so that Democrat demagogues can play both sides against the middle. It’s a perpetual political motion machine that keeps the rotting corpse of Marxism animate. 

As long as two groups can be made to hate, Democrats can generate political power by feeding on the fear and loathing. It’s as despicable as it gets. 

This system of broken promises cast out the deeply troubled Neely. His record of criminality is quite extensive, having most recently battered a 67-year-old woman. It begs the question, when will NYC residents realize that they are the architects of their own destruction?

They continue to empower the worst among them, like Mayor Adams and the deeply bigoted Alvin Bragg. As long as they do, the weakest among them will continue to suffer, as indifference is mistaken for compassion. Bragg’s decriminalization efforts aren’t charitable, they’re deeply cynical and victimize the weak while incentivizing the brutal to continue their predations. Statistically, it’s not the rich white guy who’s victimized, it’s the poor minority who continues to bear the brunt of Democrat policies of manipulation. 


Penny will likely face a jury. And, the critical question will be about the reasonable person. What would you have done, if anything? Most would have done nothing. And, that’s really the point isn’t it? Just let Big Brother handle it. Just cede your power, your liberty and the state will deliver utopia.  

If you’d like to contribute to Daniel Penny’s legal defense, you may do so at the Give Send Go set up for him. 

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