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Tipsheet

Charges Dismissed in One of the NYC Subway Self-Defense Cases

A New York City grand jury declined to indict 20-year-old Jordan Williams, who had been charged with manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon in the melee that left ex-con Devictor Ouedraogo dead, because further evidence showed he acted in self-defense, the New York Post reported.

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Williams stabbed Ouedraogo with a knife after Ouedraogo attacked Williams and his girlfriend while on a subway train earlier this month, which was fatal for the attacker. The video evidence has not been released to public, but eye witnesses on the train also supported Williams' claim to self-defense.

“Our office conducted an impartial and thorough investigation of this tragic case, which included review of multiple videos and interviews with all available witnesses, and that evidence was fairly presented to a grand jury. Today, the charges against Jordan Williams have been dismissed,” a spokesman for District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. "Under New York law, a person is justified in using deadly physical force when they reasonably believe it is necessary to use such force to defend themselves or others from imminent use of deadly or unlawful physical force."

While Williams, a black man, is in the clear, Daniel Penny, a white man and Marine Corps veteran, was recently arraigned on a manslaughter indictment in the Manhattan subway choking death of Jordan Neely, who was threatening passengers on the subway train Penny was riding on. 

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Penny pleaded not guilty to the charge and has maintained he had no choice but to restrain Neely for the safety of himself and others. He also says it was not his intention for Neely to die.

William's father told the Post while their are similarities to his son's case and Penny's, the main difference is his son was being actively attacked.

"What would you do if someone was beating you in the face?" he said. "You jump into survival mode. That’s what he did. He jumped into survival mode."

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